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International Tourism Collapses 22 Percent in 1Q20

By MBN Staff | Fri, 05/08/2020 - 13:14

During the first three months of the year, arrivals at the main tourist destinations in the world contracted 22 percent. If stay-in-home orders are not relaxed internationally, global tourism will decrease by between 60 and 80 percent, according to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). The most dramatic drop so far happened in March with a 57 percent decrease compared to the same period in 2019.

"Arrivals in March registered an abrupt drop after the start of confinement in many countries, the introduction of travel restrictions and the closure of airports and borders. All this translates into a loss of US$67 million for international arrivals," said the UNWTO report.

The most affected region so far is Asia with a 33 percent reduction in international arrivals. Faced with the crisis, the organization set three different forecasts for the gradual opening of international borders. If lockdown measures are relaxed in July, the impact on revenue would be 58 percent in the annual cumulative, 70 percent if this occurs in September and 78 percent if border closings go on until December.

Earlier this week, Deep Knowledge Group, a consulting and market analysis firm based in Hong Kong, placed Mexico among the 15 most dangerous destinations due to COVID-19. However, that has not changed its attractiveness as a world-class tourist destination. Preferred Hotels & Resorts, one of the most important hotel chains in the world with establishments in three continents, recently conducted a survey among the clients of its loyalty program to find out what their preferences would be once they got the chance to travel in a post-COVID-19 world. Mexico ranked in the Top 10 most desirable destinations in the world.

The Minister of Tourism, Miguel Torruco Marqués, said on Wednesday that the 45th edition of the ‘Tianguis Turístico’ to be held in Merida, Yucatan, will take place until March 2021. "We are facing an unprecedented situation in our modern history with the crisis generated by COVID-19, which today affects everyone and has had serious repercussions in various areas beyond the health sector, impacting all productive activities, including tourism," he said in a statement.

Currently, in Europe, the 27 members of the European Union are negotiating a revival fund of "between €1 trillion (US$1.09 trillion) and €2 trillion (US$2.17 trillion)," Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton said in an interview with Reuters.

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