UNWTO: International tourist arrivals drop by 65% during first six months of 2020

Α Decrease font Enlarge font
UNWTO: International tourist arrivals drop by 65% during first six months of 2020Safe and responsible international travel is now possible in many parts of the world, and it is imperative that governments work closely with the private sector to get global tourism moving again

International tourist arrivals plunged 93% in June when compared to 2019, with the latest data from the World Tourism Organization showing the severe impact COVID-19 has had on the sector. According to the new issue of the World Tourism Barometer from the United Nations specialized agency, international tourist arrivals dropped by 65% during the first half of the year. This represents an unprecedented decrease, as countries around the world closed their borders and introduced travel restrictions in response to the pandemic.

Over recent weeks, a growing number of destinations have started to open up again to international tourists. UNWTO reports that, as of early September, 53% of destinations had eased travel restrictions. Nevertheless, many governments remain cautious, and this latest report shows that the lockdowns introduced during the first half of the year have had a massive impact on international tourism. The sharp and sudden fall in arrivals has placed millions of jobs and businesses at risk.

Counting the economic cost

According to UNWTO, the massive drop in international travel demand over the period January-June 2020 translates into a loss of 440 million international arrivals and about US$ 460 billion in export revenues from international tourism. This is around five times the loss in international tourism receipts recorded in 2009 amid the global economic and financial crisis.

UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said: “The latest World Tourism Barometer shows the deep impact this pandemic is having on tourism, a sector upon which millions of people depend for their livelihoods. However, safe and responsible international travel is now possible in many parts of the world, and it is imperative that governments work closely with the private sector to get global tourism moving again. Coordinated action is key.”

All global regions hit hard

Despite the gradual reopening of many destinations since the second half of May, the anticipated improvement in international tourism numbers during the peak summer season in the Northern Hemisphere did not materialize. Europe was the second-hardest hit of all global regions, with a 66% decline in tourist arrivals in the first half of 2020. The Americas (-55%), Africa, and the Middle East (both -57%) also suffered. However, Asia and the Pacific, the first region to feel the impact of COVID-19 on tourism, was the hardest hit, with a 72% fall in tourists for the six-month period.

At the sub-regional level, North-East Asia (-83%) and Southern Mediterranean Europe (-72%) suffered the largest declines. All world regions and sub-regions recorded declines of more than 50% in arrivals in January-June 2020. The contraction of international demand is also reflected in double-digit declines in international tourism expenditure among large markets. Major outbound markets such as the United States and China continue to be at a standstill, though some markets such as France and Germany have shown some improvement in June. 

Looking ahead, it seems likely that reduced travel demand and consumer confidence will continue to impact results for the rest of the year. In May, UNWTO outlined three possible scenarios, pointing to declines of 58% to 78% in international tourist arrivals in 2020. Current trends through August point to a drop in demand closer to 70% (Scenario 2), especially now as some destinations re-introduce restrictions on travel.

The extension of the scenarios to 2021 points to a change in trend next year, based on the assumptions of a gradual and linear lifting of travel restrictions, the availability of a vaccine or treatment, and a return of traveler confidence. Nonetheless, despite this, the return to 2019 levels in terms of tourist arrivals would take between 2½ to 4 years.

RELATED TOPICS: GreeceGreek tourism newsTourism in GreeceGreek islandsHotels in GreeceTravel to GreeceGreek destinationsGreek travel marketGreek tourism statisticsGreek tourism report

 

Tornos
  1. 23/10 15:18

    Athens reaches out to Syria through the Greek Orthodox community

  2. 23/10 15:14

    Four workers at Theagenio Clinic in Thessaloniki tested positive for Covid-19

  3. 23/10 15:11

    Greek PM announces new restrictions amid rise in COVID-19 cases (video)

  4. 23/10 13:12

    Greek Civil Aviation Authority restricts flights to and from Kastoria airport

  5. 23/10 13:08

    IATA: Coronavirus testing and financial support critical to saving air transport

  6. 23/10 13:07

    Turkish freighter adrift south of Greek island of Milos

  7. 23/10 13:03

    Historic Art Theatre Karolos Koun in Athens presents new digital programme

  8. 23/10 12:50

    Foreign Ministry: Israel reiterates full support and solidarity with Greece

  9. 22/10 16:53

    Impressive waterspout caught on video in Greek island of Santorini (video)

  10. 22/10 16:46

    Study: Additional costs for supermarkets due to pandemic at €96.1 million

  11. 22/10 16:24

    Quarantine at VIAL hotspot on Greek island of Chios extended to November 4

  12. 22/10 15:53

    Mohegan chief says Hellenikon casino will be big tourist magnet

  13. 22/10 15:01

    Scandinavia GNTO holds event on alternative tourism in Greece

  14. 22/10 14:59

    Canary islands join UNWTO observatory network to provide data fro sector's recovery

  15. 22/10 14:47

    Government: Covid-19 situation in Greece better than in many countries

  16. 22/10 13:39

    Prime Minister to address the Greek nation at 19:00 on Thursday

  17. 22/10 12:57

    Fuel, time and Co2 savings from airspace deal between Jordan and Israel

  18. 22/10 12:29

    Tour du Péloponnèse 2020: Success despite obstacles by Covid-19 (video)

  19. 22/10 10:12

    Sharp rise with 865 new Covid-19 cases and six fatalities in Greece

  20. 22/10 10:00

    Greece and Albania take the issue of maritime zones to Hague Court

  21. 21/10 16:01

    Ecumenical Patriarch and Pope pray for peace and pandemic's end

  22. 21/10 15:58

    Celestyal Cruises offers free travel insurance including COVID-19 coverage

  23. 21/10 15:54

    Greek Citizen Protection minister announces hiring another 800 border guards

  24. 21/10 15:49

    “Glorious Victories” show at National Archaeological Museum in Athens

  25. 21/10 15:46

    More than 10 billion-euro demand for 15-year Greek bond

  26. 21/10 14:40

    Heraklion airport in Crete to stay closed until 16:30 on Wednesday

  27. 21/10 14:40

    UNWTO and ITC cooperate to support coastal tourism in Liberia

  28. 21/10 13:32

    Citizen Protection Minister: Greek police present in battle against COVID-19

  29. 21/10 13:26

    IATA revises 2020 passenger traffic projection down for the Middle East

  30. 21/10 09:36

    AP: Mobile virus testing unit set up in downtown Athens (video)

  31. 20/10 21:58

    Global Tourism Crisis Committe: Coordination a key ingredient for recovery

  32. 20/10 21:14

    Greek Minister: 'Destination' of a well-prepared economic policy apparent

  33. 20/10 20:19

    Cyprus residents travelling abroad fall by 80.3% in September 2020

  34. 20/10 20:06

    Three bidders for underground gas facility in 'South Kavala' field in Greece

  35. 20/10 19:44

    TUI extends program to Greece until November and forecasts strong demand for 2021

  36. 20/10 17:53

    Greece to reopen 15-year bond issue with a coupon of 1.875%

  37. 20/10 15:42

    Orionid meteor shower to peak in Greece on Tuesday and Wednesday

  38. 20/10 13:39

    Greece records highest-ever number of daily cases with 667

  39. 20/10 13:27

    French woman escorting 24 students on 'Blue Star Delos' tests positive for Covid-19

  40. 20/10 09:09

    Tourist arrivals drop 83.4% in Cyprus during September 2020

  41. 19/10 22:34

    Natural History Museum of Meteora and Mushroom Museum win new prizes

  42. 19/10 22:10

    Dutch royal family cut holidays to Greece short following uproar for ‘non essential travel’

  43. 19/10 20:06

    International consortium lowest bidder for Athens Metro Line 4 project

  44. 19/10 11:07

    Melbourne set for New Greek Museum which could compete with the planet's best

  45. 19/10 10:37

    Greece confirms 438 Covid-19 cases and nine fatalities on Sunday

  46. 19/10 10:31

    AP: COVID-19 case in Vatican Hotel recorded where Pope lives

  47. 19/10 10:24

    Analysis of 43 Neolithic skeletons of Theopetra Cave in Greece shows diet of cereals and little meat

  48. 19/10 09:53

    Greek Prime Minister Mitsotakis to visit 'Sotiria' hospital in Athens

  49. 18/10 12:08

    One hundred and one recognised refugees left Greece for Germany

  50. 18/10 12:01

    Covid-19: First local lockdown in Kozani prefecture of Northern Greece

  51. 18/10 11:56

    Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov to visit Greece on October 26

  52. 18/10 11:48

    PM from Evros borders: New fence is the least we can do to make Greeks feel safe

  53. 18/10 11:32

    French President: We will not back down an inch to Turkish provocations

  54. 18/10 11:28

    482 new Covid-19 cases and ten fatalities recorded in Greece on Saturday

  55. 18/10 11:03

    WTTC Consumer Survey: 70% of US and Canadian travelers plan to holiday in 2021

  56. 18/10 09:17

    PM on Samothrace: Borderland Greece and border islands our top priority

  57. 17/10 21:13

    German Foreign Ministry: Only Greece safe for travel

  58. 17/10 21:09

    UNWTO and Expedia to share data and insights to assist tourism recovery

  59. 17/10 20:34

    Four candidates in tender to purchase at least 67% of Alexandroupolis port in Greece

  60. 17/10 19:05

    Minister appeals to Ioannina residents to help break rising of infections

  61. 17/10 17:57

    World Health Organization launches Europe Office for Quality of Health Care in Athens

  62. 17/10 15:50

    IATA hails US military report on low risk of COVID-19 transmitted on a flight

  63. 17/10 13:45

    Greek island of Crete remains a safe destination for UK travelers

  64. 17/10 11:40

    Mt. Athos treasures in digitized exhibition at Athens Concert Hall

  65. 17/10 11:29

    Partnership to support aviation safety oversight in the Netherlands

  66. 17/10 11:23

    Greece among eight best honeymoon destinations on Pinterest

  67. 17/10 10:17

    European Council head calls Turkish gas exploration a “provocation”

  68. 17/10 09:21

    Greece records 508 new Covid-19 cases and eight deaths on Friday

  69. 16/10 14:43

    Hotel amenities by NEF-NEF

  70. 15/10 20:40

    UNWTO delegation in Brussels for discussions with European institution leaders

  71. 15/10 10:48

    Greece launches interactive “Covid-19 Map” with data on current cases

  72. 15/10 08:20

    Greek National Defense Minister meets with visiting US Assisatnt Secretary

  73. 15/10 07:04

    Greek President meets with Bulgarian counterpart in Athens

  74. 14/10 22:51

    436 new Covid-19 cases and six deaths recorded in Greece on Wednesday

  75. 14/10 21:44

    AP: Cyprus cancels maligned “golden passport” scheme (video)

  76. 14/10 21:33

    IMF forecast: Greece to return to primary surpluses from 2022

  77. 14/10 20:57

    Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Awards: Six Greek islands in the top-10 in Europe

  78. 14/10 20:54

    Greek PM meets with GEK Terna and Mohegan CEOs on Hellenikon casino

  79. 14/10 19:47

    UNWTO delegation in Brussels for talks with EU Institution leaders over pandemic

  80. 14/10 19:03

    Greek Foreign Minister meets with Iraqi counterpart in Baghdad

  81. 14/10 17:43

    VIAL hotspot on Chios island under lockdown after Covid-19 infections

  82. 14/10 15:56

    IATA Director General's remarks during media briefing on pandemic on October 13

  83. 14/10 13:37

    ACI and IATA call for urgent industry-wide effort to support recovery

  84. 14/10 10:26

    Failure to coordinate travel restrictions puts millions of jobs at risk

  85. 14/10 09:57

    Covid-19: Growing concern over the course of the pandemic in Greece

  86. 14/10 09:51

    Hermes AHEPA Chapter 186 moves forward virtually due to Covid-19

  87. 13/10 15:23

    Airbnb announces new health and safety mandate for safer Travel

  88. 13/10 15:20

    12th Annual Capital Link New York Maritime Forum on October 14-15

  89. 13/10 15:11

    Hilton survey unveils that Americans are missing travel the most

  90. 13/10 15:07

    Greek wage employment flows balance remains positive in September

  91. 13/10 14:58

    Greece records 295 new Covid-19 cases and seven fatalities on Monday

  92. 13/10 13:54

    Cyprus abolishes Golden Visas scheme after video alleges corruption

  93. 13/10 12:49

    Heavy rain causes problems in many parts of Attica in Greece

  94. 13/10 11:45

    Navarino Challenge event rescheduled in Greece for October 15-17, 2021

  95. 13/10 10:02

    AP: Cyprus reinstates coronavirus restrictions on public and private gatherings

  96. 13/10 09:41

    Greek PM to meet with Foreign Ministers of Canada, Germany on Tuesday

  97. 12/10 21:47

    Athens metro work stoppage on Thursday from 14:00 to 17:00

  98. 12/10 15:56

    The continuous evolution is our secret of success

  99. 12/10 11:25

    Alexandras Avenue in Athens closed due to rally outside Court of Appeal

  100. 12/10 11:19

    Greek government ships hundreds of books to Latin American Diaspora