Tourism lost $320bn in pandemic: UN

Updated 30 Aug 2020

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Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a policy briefing and video address that tourism is the third-largest export sector of the global economy, behind fuels and chemicals. — AFP/File
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a policy briefing and video address that tourism is the third-largest export sector of the global economy, behind fuels and chemicals. — AFP/File

UNITED NATIONS: The tourism global industry has been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic, with $320 billion lost in exports in the first five months of the year and more than 120 million jobs at risk, the UN chief said.

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a policy briefing and video address that tourism is the third-largest export sector of the global economy, behind fuels and chemicals, and in 2019 it accounted for seven per cent of global trade.

It employs one in every 10 people on Earth and provides livelihoods to hundreds of millions more, he said.

In addition to boosting economies, “it allows people to experience some of the worlds cultural and natural riches and brings people closer to each other, highlighting our common humanity, he said.

But the UN chief said that in the first five months of 2020, because of the pandemic, international tourist arrivals decreased by more than half and earnings plummeted.

Guterres said this has been a major shock for richer developed nations but for developing countries, it is an emergency, particularly for many small island developing states and African countries.

Published in Dawn, August 30th, 2020