Covid-19 has affected many things this year, among them tourism. Compared to 2019, international tourist arrivals have gone down 65% globally in the first six months of this year. With travel conditions not being safe and destinations being closed due to safety precautions, it is understandable why this number is so different from last year’s.
According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, the work tourism sector could lose about $1.2 trillion this year due to the pandemic. Not only that, but the jobs of up to 120 million people could be at risk. While tourism is a big source of jobs all around the world, there are some countries that depend more on it than others. In Antigua and Barbuda, tourism accounted for 90.7% of jobs in 2019, 84.3% in Aruba, and 78.1% in St. Lucia (World Economic Forum, Hutt, 2020).
While international tourism has taken a hard hit this year, domestic tourism has become more popular in some areas. China, which has significantly recovered from the pandemic, has seen an increase in domestic tourism as people have the desire to get out of their houses for a while after enduring some harsh months of lockdown. Tourism companies there now offer customized tours to several locations in the country. Unfortunately, this has not been the case for other countries where restrictions are still in place or have been greatly affected. In some other places, people are too dependent on the jobs tourism brings to be able to spend money on that themselves.
The best thing you can do to support tourism right now is travelling locally. As long as you follow safety guidelines, finding a nice place to relax and go to even for a day might be a good distraction after all of these stressful months.