Onlooking the growing number of IG travel influencers, we can say that the tourism industry was quite surging for years. As compared to 880 million global tourist arrivals in 2009, the bar was raised by 59% to take the count to 1.5 billion international tourist arrivals in 2019. The estimates showed a 4% further increase in the tourism industry by 2020 than the previous year.
We were expecting the travel industry to bloom and bloom better. Who would have known about the outburst of COVID-19 in late 2019? The novel coronavirus disrupted the entire business segment. From agriculture to aerospace, from computer to communications, and transport to tourism, per se, every industry got impacted by it and not in a good way.
Most businesses had to shift online to continue with their sales during the pandemic. From Kush station online Canada to most of the medical industry, came online to assist people during the crisis.
But out of all, the pandemic hit the travel industry the worst. The reason? Worldwide lockdowns, global curfews, the ban on crossing international borders, and restrictions on flights made zero human transitions. If you would look at the harm done by COVID-19 to the travel industry figure-wise, you will be traumatized within. In this piece, we have rounded up three significant impacts of COVID-19 on the travel industry and how nations are making a move to get out of it soon.
1. Closure of The International Boundaries
With no vaccine to abolish the effects of the coronavirus altogether, countries have only one option to control it, i.e., by restricting the transition of citizens overseas. As an outcome of the global pandemic, nations have mandatorily made quarantines, entry bans, and shunned foreign travels. After the virus spread across the globe only in the first two quarters of 2020, around 93% population resided in their countries accepting the travel restrictions. Approximately 3 billion people faced a full barrier because the nations were shut for foreigners.
Of course, these bans and restrictions have adversely affected the travel sector of the global economy. Because of it, there is a huge stoppage in business travel, abroad conferences, and other likely events have shifted to online platforms. It has caused losses worth billions and trillions, and on the other hand, compelled companies to invest in resources that helped them run their business online. So far, closure of the international boundaries has done major bad to the tourism industry. It has also impacted other sectors like hospitality, travel agencies, tour operators, and all types of transportation services by its side.
2. Decline in The International Tourist Count
The increase in the number of international tourists before the global pandemic hit showed a sign of good days for the tourism industry. The count of foreign travelers kept on elevating from 1.3 billion in 2017, 1.4 billion in 2018, to an unbelievable 1.5 billion in 2019. However, before it went higher in 2020, the graph went straight down by 22% only in the first quarter, and by 65% in the first half. It’s because there is a direct relationship between open international boundaries and the number of tourists. At UNWTO, experts suggested three scenarios claiming declines in tourist arrivals by 58 to 78% in late 2020. These scenarios assumed the gradual opening of international borders and lifting travel restrictions.
The experts at UNWTO believe in actual results to get reaped in 2021, despite estimating the recovery of the travel industry by the final quarter of 2020. They also proposed a fast recovery rate of domestic travelers as compared to international ones by 2021. With a sink in globetrotters, related sectors have been facing a rough wave. Hotels, restaurants, cafes, pubs, bars, and tourist places shut down out of no customers. The cityscapes stand still without any tourists, and the monuments are feeling the absence of visitors. Right from the smallest tour guide to the biggest cruise owner, all have been devastated due to a decline in the international tourist count.
3. Airlines Failure Due to COVID-19
Things have become pretty ugly for the airline and supportive industries, too. According to The International Air Transport Association (IATA), in 2019, the airlines faced a fall in their profits by almost 50%, from $838 billion to $419 billion because of the global pandemic.
The IATA’s director general and CEO said, “Financially, 2020 will go down as the worst year in the history of aviation. On average, every day of this year will add $230 million to industry losses. In total, that’s a loss of $84.3 billion”. And as per the IATA’s reports, the global air industry, in reality, lost up to $84 billion in 2020.
On top of it, the biggest airlines in the world got on the verge of bankruptcy. Following is the list of the top five leading airlines worldwide that witnessed the worst due to COVID-19 in their entire aviation business span:
- LATAM Airlines
- Avianca Holdings
- Virgin Australia
- Flybe Airlines
- Miami Air International
The world is still battling the deadliest coronavirus, and therefore, nations are insisting on avoiding non-essential traveling. With the world in handcuffs of the second wave of COVID-19, we can only pray to the mighty power to keep us safe while being at our homes!