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International tourism may face 80-percent slump this year: World Tourism Organization

(People's Daily Online)    09:49, May 09, 2020

The number of international tourist arrivals will drop by 60 to 80 percent in 2020 due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, the World Tourism Organization said on May 7.

(Photo/Xinhua)

Widespread travel restrictions and the closure of airports and national borders to curb the spread of the virus had plunged international tourism into its worst crisis since records began in 1950, the UN tourism body said in a statement.

Tourist arrivals dropped by 22 percent in the first quarter of the year, and by 57 percent in March alone, with Asia and Europe suffering the biggest declines.

Under a best-case scenario, with travel restrictions starting to ease in early July, international tourist arrivals could fall by just 58 percent.

If there is a delay in lifting borders and travel restrictions until early December, the figure would be more than 78 percent.

Asia and the Pacific are expected to rebound first, as experts estimate that the tourism industry will bounce back in Q4 this year, with domestic demand expected to recover faster than international.

"The world is facing an unprecedented health and economic crisis. Tourism has been hit hard, with millions of jobs at risk in one of the most labor-intensive sectors of the economy," said Secretary-general Zurab Pololikashvili of the tourism body. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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