COVID 19 outbreak started in December 2019 in Wuhan city in China. As of 18th June 2020, there are 8,466,256 active cases and 451,943 deaths around the globe. The World Health Organisation declared COVID 19 as a global pandemic on 11 March 2020. The pandemic has pushed the global economy into a recession. Experts have also said that the impact of the COVID 19 pandemic would be much worse than the 2008 financial crisis. The affected countries have imposed lockdown and have imposed several restrictions including travel bans and closure of the border. People are working from home, or simply not working due to the unavailability of work. There is also evidence that discretionary spending by consumers has collapsed. All sectors are affected, however, the experts believe that the consequences of COVID-19 will not be equally distributed throughout the economy. The problems are particularly worse in hospitality related sectors. The global travel industry is facing reductions in the activity of more than 90%. The tourist destinations are deserted, airlines are grounded and are firing the employees, hotels are closing all the operations. The countries that are most reliant on Tourism will be affected the most.
In 2018 1.401 billion tourists traveled worldwide with a growth of 5.4% compared to 2017.
The countries that are heavily reliant on Tourism considering their GDP contribution are Antigua (54.45%), Aruba (85.8%), St Lucia (43.3%), US Virgin Islands (92.8%), Macau(58.9%), Maldives (75.1%), British Virgin Islands (92%), and Bahamas (48.3%).
The USA, Spain, France, Thailand, UK, Italy, Australia, Germany, Japan, Macau, China, Hong Kong, India, Turkey, Canada, Australia, Mexico, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, and Portugal are the countries that make the most from the tourism.
The Tourism Industry accounts for 10.3% of the Global GDP i.e 8.9 trillion dollars and accounts for 330 million jobs around the globe. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council 197m, Travel and Tourism jobs will be lost due to the prolonged travel restrictions. The Tourism sector is currently one of the worst hit by the outbreak of COVID 19, with impacts on both travel supply and demand.
Most regions have been severely impacted, particularly Asia, Europe, and North and South America. The mortality rates are also increasing. The uncertainty of the pandemic and the further restrictions are drastically impacting the tourism reliant destinations and they will find it hard to rebound from this. Many travel and tourism companies are on the verge of closing permanently if governments do not provide assistance. The goodwill of the tourist destinations could irreversibly be damaged depending upon the handling of the outbreak. If a country responds poorly towards COVID-19 pandemic or shows a slow reaction, then tourists may have doubts about visiting the destination once the pandemic has been controlled.