International tourism suffered an economic loss three times higher than that of the 2009 Global Economic Crisis due to Covid-19 up to May, said World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).
According to the latest edition of UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, in this time, the global tourism industry witnessed a fall of 300 million tourists and lost $320 billion due to Covid-19.
"The near-complete lockdown imposed in response to the pandemic led to a 98 percent fall in international tourist numbers in May when compared to 2019," said the report.
It also shows a 56 percent year-on-year drop in tourist arrivals between January and May.
UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said, "The dramatic fall in international tourism places many millions of livelihoods at risk, including in developing countries. Governments in every world region have a dual responsibility: to prioritize public health while also protecting jobs and businesses."
"They also need to maintain the spirit of cooperation and solidarity that has defined our response to this shared challenge and refrain from making unilateral decisions that may undermine the trust and confidence we have been working so hard to build," he added.
The world tourism report said while tourism is slowly returning in some destinations, the UNWTO Confidence Index has dropped to record lows, both for the evaluation of the period January-April 2020, and the prospects for May-August.
Most members of the UNWTO Panel of Tourism Experts expect international tourism to recover by the second half of 2021, followed by those who expect a rebound in the first part of next year.