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WTTC report lays bare cost of Covid-19 to travel sector

WTTC report lays bare cost of Covid-19 to travel sector

Asia Pacific was the region hit hardest by the Covid-19 pandemic according to the new annual Economic Trends Report from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).

The report reveals the full dramatic impact of travel restrictions designed to curb Covid-19 on the global economy, individual regions and its job losses worldwide.

Asia-Pacific was the worst performing region, with the sector’s contribution to GDP dropping a damaging 54 per cent, compared to the global fall of 49 per cent.

International visitor spending was particularly hard hit across Asia Pacific, falling by 74 per cent, as many countries across the region closed their borders to inbound tourists.

Domestic spending witnessed a lower but equally punishing decline of 48 per cent.


Tourism employment in the region fell by 18 per cent, equating to a shocking 34 million jobs.

Virginia Messina, WTTC senior vice president, said: “WTTC data has laid bare the devastating impact the pandemic has had on tourism around the world, leaving economies battered, millions without jobs and many more fearing for their future.

“Our annual Economic Trends Report shows just how much each region has suffered at the hands of the crushing travel restrictions brought in to control the spread of Covid-19.

“WTTC believes governments around the world should take advantage of their vaccine rollouts, which could significantly ease travel restrictions on travel, and help power the wider global economic recovery.”

The report also revealed the European tourism sector suffered the second biggest economic collapse last year, dropping 51 per cent, or €987 billion.

This significant and damaging decline was in part due to continuing mobility restrictions to curb the spread of the virus.

The report showed domestic spending in Europe declined by 48 per cent, offset by some intra-regional travel, however international spending fell at an even sharper rate, by 64 per cent.

Despite this, Europe remained the top global region for international visitor spending.

More Information

To read the WTTC Economic Trends Report in full, please click here.