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New WTTC Economic Trends Report reveals Asia Pacific region hardest hit by COVID-19 pandemic
According to the new annual Economic Trends Report from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), Asia Pacific was the region hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic - with the sector’s contribution to GDP dropping a damaging 53.7%, compared to the global fall of 49.1%.
The report reveals the full dramatic impact of travel restrictions designed to curb COVID-19 on the global economy, individual regions, and its job losses worldwide.
International visitor spending across Asia Pacific, fell by 74.4%, as many countries across the region closed their borders to inbound tourists. Domestic spending witnessed a lower but equally punishing decline of 48.1%.
Travel and Tourism employment in the region fell by 18.4%, equating to a shocking 34.1 million jobs.
However, despite this decline, Asia-Pacific remained the largest region for the sector’s employment in 2020, accounting for 55% (151 million) of all global tourism jobs.
WTTC Senior Vice President, Virginia Messina notes “WTTC data has laid bare the devastating impact the pandemic has had on tourism around the world, leaving economies battered, millions without jobs and many more fearing for their future.
“Our annual Economic Trends Report shows just how much each region has suffered at the hands of the crushing travel restrictions brought in to control the spread of COVID-19.
“WTTC believes governments around the world should take advantage of their vaccine rollouts, which could significantly ease travel restrictions on travel, and help power the wider global economic recovery.”
Travel and Tourism’s contribution to GDP in the Middle East decreased significantly in 2020, dropping 51.1%.
While domestic spending declined 42.8%, international spending saw a much steeper fall of 70.3%, in part driven by severe restrictions.
The region, which was highly reliant on international tourism in 2019, saw international spending as a share of total tourism spending drop from 62% of the total in 2019 to just 46% in 2020. However, domestic spending grew in share, from 38% of the total in 2019 to 54% in 2020.
COVID-19 is also proving to be a catalyst in the Travel and Tourism sector’s quest for innovation and the integration of new technologies such as biometrics, which would enable a more seamless traveller experience.
While the pent-up demand for international travel is significant, ever-changing travel restrictions have affected consumer confidence to book.
WTTC advocates the need for an internationally coordinated, consistent, and transparent approach to enable safe travel.
To read the WTTC Economic Trends Report in full, please click here
18th June 2021 - WTTC insight papers released to help drive sustainability in tourism
13th May 2021 - WTTC announces Julia Simpson as new Chief Executive
28th April 2021 - Martina Navratilova helps launch Women Initiative at WTTC 2021
12th February 2021 - WTTC new paper showcases tourism industry’s role in in enhancing social progress
17th December 2020 - WTTC releases major new guidelines for Inclusion and Diversity to aid tourism sector
14th October 2020 - WTTC recognises Australia’s COVID Clean Practicing Business Program
1st October 2020 - WTTC releases guidelines for safe return to work
28th September 2020 - WTTC launches new report on tourism’s future in the wake of COVID-19
21st September 2020 - ATEC aligns with WTTC Safe Travel protocols
19th September 2020 - The Philippines revealed as 100th destination to receive WTTC Safe Travels stamp
4th September 2020 - WTTC launches Safe Travels protocols for adventure tourism
16th August 2020 - WTTC calls for leadership from Australian Government to save tourism
25th July 2020 - Dubai and Indonesia are latest recipients of WTTC Safe Travels stamp
28th May 2020 - WTTC launches world’s first global safety stamp
17th April 2020 - WTTC commends global tourism industry for helping during COVID-19
12th December 2018 - WTTC highlights role of tourism in attaining a carbon neutral world by 2050
26th April 2018 - WTTC and UN Climate Change in new partnership to tackle global warming
21st October 2017 - WTTC calls on tourism to embrace sustainability reporting
27th September 2016 - WTTC calls for global tourism to become more accessible
25th April 2014 - Sustainable tourism celebrated at WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Awards
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