Pandemic Causes 65% Drop in International Travel

The coronavirus pandemic caused a 65% decrease in international travel during the first six months of 2020, according to a report.

The UN World Tourism Organization published the report, saying that the drop in international travel caused a loss of $460 billion in revenue from tourism. That’s five times greater than the loss recorded in 2009 during the financial crisis.

The organization estimates it will take between two to four years for international travel to return to 2019 levels.

The report shows that Asia and the Pacific were the first areas to be affected by COVID-19, with the number of tourists dropping 72% during the first half of the year. Europe had the next largest decrease with a 66% drop. North and South America, Africa and the Middle East experienced similar decreases.

The report also shows that as of early September, 53% of international tourism destinations reduced their travel restrictions. However, as some countries begin experiencing new outbreaks of COVID-19, restrictions may return.

The World Tourism Organization says that 2020 will show an overall decrease in international travel of about 70%, but that number may increase.

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