Global Tourism Another COVID-19 Casualty

The Economist May 30th 2020 pp9 Leaders, Global Tourism “Summer Break” “Foreign adventure, discovery and hedonism are on hold. They will be back”.

For host countries global travel accounts for “7% of world exports and 330M jobs”. But, as expected with the COVID-19, it is down and an extreme example “down by 99.5%” in Angkor Wat in Cambodia. Last year 1.5B traveled compared with less than 0.2B in 1970. Increases can be attributed to higher incomes in China, low air fares, easier visa process, and easy booking using sites like Expedia. Prior to the pandemic, one could travel without a visa to 100 countries up from “50 half a century ago”.

Travel has benefited small firms and workers-tourism can account for 10% or more of some country’s exports. To avoid a total loss, hopes are that younger travels will head out regardless of COVID-19 and take advantage of some lower pricing. Given the risks of spreading COVID-19, there will be preventative measures-travel may be restricted as U.S. “banned visitors from Brazil” and Cyprus will allow most Europeans but restrict British and Russian travelers given their high COVID-19 rate. As of the start of May, 150 countries are closed to foreign tourist. “Better testing will give travelers and governments confidence that outbreaks can be managed”. Having said that locals may restrict travelers from the busiest cities.

“Tourism makes the world wealthier and happier, It should be on only a temporary break”.