The impact of Coronavirus on the global tourism industry

The impact of Coronavirus on the global tourism industry


The outbreak of Coronavirus is negatively impacting all economy sectors. The tourism and travel industry is no different. 

However, the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) warned that choking travel by closing borders, blanket travel bans, and more extreme government policies, won’t stop the coronavirus spreading. 

Gloria Guevara, president & CEO of WTTC and former Tourism Minister of Mexico, has first-hand experience of containing a major, viral incident after dealing with the H1N1 influenza virus in Mexico. 

Guevara called for governments and authorities worldwide not to overreact with disproportionate measures in a bid to control Covid-19.  “Past experience shows that taking such extreme action has been ineffective at best. We urge governments to explore fact-based measures which don’t affect the vast majority of people and businesses for whom travel is essential.” 

Analysis by the WTTC shows that 33 countries, just 16 percent of the total number worldwide, have reported cases of Covid-19. The vast majority of patients affected by the virus have also fully recovered. Covid-19 has a lower mortality rate than previous viral outbreaks such as SARS in 2003 and MERS in 2012.  Millions of people continue to travel throughout the world on a daily basis, whether taking flights, cruises, rail journeys or driving. 

Each month, based on 2018 figures, an estimated average of 2.3 million people take a cruise with very few incidents. 

“We understand there is huge concern about Covid-19. However, it’s important to remember that fatality rates remain very low and the chances of contracting the virus, for the vast majority of people, are very remote if they travel responsibly and observe simple hygiene measures.” 

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