In 2019 the number of international tourist arrivals had reached a record 1.5 billion, a growth of 4%. However, Covid 19 outbreak had an unprecedented economic impact on the world. In 2020 the numbers have dramatically decreased, estimating one billion fewer tourists than in 2019, which is a 74% decrease.
Impact on Global Economy
In 2019, the Travel and Tourism sector contributed 10.4% to global GDP, a share which
decreased to 5.5% in 2020 due to ongoing restrictions to mobility. This change presents a loss of USD 4,461 billion to the global GDP contribution
of the industry.
In 2019 the global number of jobs created by the industry amounted to
334 million, which made 1 in 10 jobs. According to
the WTTC (2021) 1 in 4 net new jobs were created by the travel and tourism industry during
2014-2019. However, in 2020 18.5% or 61.6 million jobs within the industry were lost globally.
This dropped the number down to 272 million travel and tourism jobs, which makes 1 in 11 jobs.
Industry before Covid-19
The travel industry has been continuously growing throughout the recent decades.
According to a study published in the Journal of Travel Medicine in 2017, it was considered one
of the world’s fastest growing economic sectors. In 2017 the UNWTO had
projected an average yearly increase of 3.3% in the industry worldwide.