The UN secretary general says tourism could be used as a platform for overcoming the effects of Covid-19.
“Tourism can promote solidarity and trust – crucial ingredients in advancing the global co-operation that is so urgently needed at this time.”
– Antonio Guterres
Previous research by the UN’s tourism arm suggests that up to 120 million tourism jobs could be at risk. “Travel is down, fear is up, and the future is uncertain,” Mr Guterres said. However, the UK and many other parts of the world, Belize included, still have travel restrictions in place in a bid to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Global travel restrictions
The sector as a whole has been badly affected by the pandemic. It has left thousands of aircraft grounded as potential tourists have been forced to stay at home amid lockdown. In a recent report, the United Nations’ World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) found that “all destinations worldwide” still had some form of travel restrictions in place, although some were easing. About 75% of those destinations had completely closed their borders to international tourism.
A “Restart” for the Tourism Industry, outlines UN
In May, the UNWTO issued a set of guidelines on how to restart the tourism industry amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
They include introducing health checks where appropriate, such temperature scans at airports, as well as increased cleaning and the provision of hand sanitiser or anti-bacterial wipes. Measures warns that up to $1.2 trillion (£940.5bn) could be lost in export revenues from tourism due to the pandemic. On Wednesday, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) warned that the trade, tourism, and hospitality sectors, which make up large parts of the UK’s service-based economy, have suffered because of lockdown restrictions introduced by the government.
The UK is likely to be the hardest-hit by COVID-19 among major economies, the OECD said. Britain’s economy is likely to slump by 11.5% in 2020, slightly outstripping falls in countries such as Germany, France, Spain and Italy. The OECD described the impact of the pandemic as “dire” everywhere.