Tourism has forever played a big role in entertainment. Being able to travel around the world and learn about the various cultures and arts is without a doubt one of the most exciting activities for many people. From visiting the Statue of Liberty in New York to admiring the Eiffel Tower in Paris up close, there are many ways for people to apprehend the diverse arts and customs around the Earth. However, with the COVID-19 Pandemic, tourism has dropped drastically as many countries have closed their borders and many people are in fear that traveling will lead to disastrous outcomes.
The number of people traveling across the globe this year has certainly dropped. According to data released by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), international tourism plunged 93% in June when compared to 2019. Asia observed a 72% fall in tourism. In the first six months of 2020, Europe experienced a 66% decline, Africa and the Middle East both saw roughly 57% fewer tourist travels, and the Americas went down by about 55%. UNWTO estimates that it could take up to four years for tourism rates to bounce back up to what they were previously.
So why exactly is tourism so important? Well, besides being a form of entertainment and culture, tourism also plays a significant role in the economy. It is no secret that the costs that come with visiting the various tourist attractions around the world are meant to help boost the economy, especially since tourism tends to accumulate billions of dollars annually. According to selectusa.gov, the U.S travel and tourism industry generated over $1.6 trillion in economic output in the year 2017. In addition, tourism also helped support roughly 7.8 million U.S jobs. With this in hand, it is certainly safe to say that the pandemic has significantly affected the economy not only in the United States but also around the world. Unfortunately, this also means that millions of tourism-based jobs were lost worldwide, specifically 174 million jobs, according to data revealed by the World Travel and Tourism Council.
If you want to travel in a way that is safer and more accessible during this time, it’s a good idea to consider taking short road trips to nearby destinations such as lakes and mountains. Traveling within areas that are nearby and in low-risk environments is certainly better than flying across the world and putting yourself and others at risk. Unless there is an urgent situation that you need to address, it is highly discouraged to take long-distance trips during this time.
After a year of suspended travel, tourist rates will be rising back up very soon. The introduction of vaccines to combat the coronavirus has given people a sense of hope that they will be able to travel safely in the near future. Until then, it is important that everyone stays safe and avoids traveling as much as possible to guarantee the protection of others as well as themselves until they are given the okay to start planning their trips.