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Return to 2019 levels in tourism not possible before 2024

According to Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary General of the World Tourism Organization, the faster recovery of domestic tourism than international tourism is an opportunity for both developed and developing countries to recover from the social and economic impacts of the pandemic.

Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), said that governments should put tourism at the center of their recovery policies, and that focusing on domestic tourism, which has performed more strongly than international tourism in this period, is an opportunity to get rid of the economic effects of the pandemic.

Answering the questions of the WORLD, Polilikashvili stated that the loss of international tourism this year may reach 1.8 trillion dollars, and in total (2020 and 2021), there may be a loss of more than 4 trillion dollars in global GDP.

According to UNWTO, the loss caused by tourism in Turkey, together with its sub-sectors, in GDP could reach $93 billion in 2021. Proportionally, the tourism-related loss in GDP may be around 9 percent.

Stating that the recovery in foreign tourism is slow and the uncertainty is high due to new variants, Pololikashvili also stated that the 2019 levels can be reached in 2024 or later.

Despite the easing of the pandemic-related measures, the recovery in global tourism is not yet at the desired level.

What are your expectations?

2020 has been the worst year in tourism history. International tourism has lost 1 billion visitors worldwide, with some categories returning to levels 30 years ago. Due to the pandemic, countries need to work together to safely reinvigorate international tourism.

According to a recently published UNCTAD-UNWTO report, the collapse in international tourism due to the pandemic could result in more than $4 trillion lost in global GDP for 2020 and 2021 (about $1.8 trillion expected in 2021).

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