In no time, a virus originated from the farmer’s market in Wuhan spread beyond the region and the country. Now, this is has become the biggest pandemic mankind has experienced. The insidious coronavirus has cast gloom, fear, and death throughout the world. All micro and macro-level organization have been severely affected. Yet the highest extents of effect have been experienced in the travel industry. As we have been locked inside our apartment and houses, the way of life has changed. The corona-virus has changed the way we travel.
At this date, the travel and tourism industry has almost collapsed. The international airports that used to be crowded 24 hours a day are now like a deserted island. The hallways are empty and airplanes do not fly. Not just the present, the future is going to be different. The effect of Coronavirus on world Tourism is going to last for a while.
How Severe is the Effect?
As the virus spreads, many countries have imposed quarantines, complete lock-down, and entry band. Along with the decreasing interest in traveling, the industry has been severely affected. The Impact shall be severe and long-lasting.
As for the present, the world’s cities planned travel dropped down to 80 to 90%. The World tourism organization of the UN has estimated that arrivals of international tourists might decrease by 20 to 30% in 2020. This sum up to a worldwide loss of $30-50 billion.
Between 1950 and 2019, the international arrival experienced annual growth of 12.1% in the Asia Pacific and 5.5% in America. This growth was higher than the annual GDP growth of many nations. Even as the world economy grew, the growth of the travel industry outpaced the GDP. But now the ominous cloud of a deadly virus leads to the worldwide collapse of the T and T industry.
Besides economic loss, the other negative effects are the destruction of a cultural icon, rapid decay in the infrastructure, and ecosystem degradation. Since the government is in an economic crisis, the present intention is to look after the basic need. At such time, the T and T industry might be leveled as undesirable. The development of infrastructure might be slowed down.
In the near future, countries, where the travel industry accounts for over 7% of exports will face sector-related bankruptcies and also face unemployment. Countries like Thailand, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic where T and T contribute 16 to 50% of GDP are the most affected ones. These countries shall experience the highest economic blow and shall not recover in a short duration. Europe alone welcomes more than half of the foreign tourists worldwide. Let’s analyze the effect on different countries separately.
Let’s begins with China. Till now, the T and T industry of China has been completely closed due to the ban on both international and domestic flights. Chinese tourism is the highest spenders in the world tourism compared to Americans $277.6% billion industry.
Australia’s national travel agencies’ flight center has experienced a 75% decline in price. 6,000 staffs have unpaid leave globally. Casino earnings in Gold Coast and Cairns are reported loss of earnings in $600 million. In Bulgaria, foreign arrivals fall by 43.7% in March 2020 while the figure is 64.7% in Cambodia. Croatia and Cyprus, foreign arrivals in March 2020 fall by 75% and 67.4% respectively. In India, the drop is 66.4% while Japan experienced a fall of 94% in March 2020.
Before the pandemic made its way, the tourism industry contributed to 7.9 % GDP of Nepal. Now, after the government implemented complete lockdown, both internal and international tourists are restricted. So the Industry is definitely experiencing a big setback. Visit Nepal 2020 has been officially canceled. All previously made plans and policies have failed. Even after the threat of the virus is over, the effect is going to last longer.
What’s the Future of World Tourism?
What after the pandemic is over? Will we be able to shift towards a sustainable, responsible, and socially innovative tourism? Now, with the need for a new trend, the concept of “staycation” and “slow tourism” is growing. The proactive work between the government and the private sector is indispensable.
Who knows if the digital or virtual form of tourism may arise during this time? Surely, in the future T and T will experience new types of tourists with different interests. Now is the time to make plans and projects for the future. Now, we have enough time to look for new destinations and make better plans for the future.
To Sum Up
This is definitely not the best time for the travel and tourism industry. The situation could get worst in the near future. But once this is over, the industry will be back with a “bang”. It’s time to dedicate your effort in preparing a better and richer platform from the tourists.