The global tourism industry may lose up to $450 billion due to the suspension of international travel.
Marrakech – The UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) expects international tourism to drop by 20-30% in 2020 due to the suspension of international travel amid the global COVID-19 pandemic.
The drop constitutes a $300-$450 billion loss for the global tourism industry—an unprecedented hit, according to UNWTO.
To put the figure into perspective, international tourism dropped by just 9% during the last 2009 economic crisis, recalled UNWTO.
Economies worldwide are expected to sustain severe damages as many countries have suspended international travel to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Earlier this month, UNWTO forecasted that the global tourism industry will lose up to $50 billion, a prediction that pales in comparison to the latest update. Depending on the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic, the predicted figures may either improve or worsen.
With tourism as the second largest contributor to its economy, accounting for 11% of GDP, Morocco is among countries heavily concerned by the fall of tourism.
In March alone, Morocco lost 100,000 tourists due to the fears from COVID-19 and the suspension of international flights.
While nearly 13 million tourists visited Morocco in 2019, CFG Bank predicted the number to drop by 39%, at least five million tourists. The bank also forecasted a 30% drop in hotel stays.
“Tourism is one of the most affected economic sectors by the health crisis linked to the new coronavirus, particularly with the suspension of international flights,” Moroccan Minister of Tourism Nadia Fettah Alaoui told the press following the inaugural meeting of Morocco’s Economic Monitoring Committee (CVE).
Despite the uncertainty looming over international tourism, the CVE has taken proactive measures to support the national tourism sector.
The committee will support the tourism sector with funds routed from the Special Fund for the Management and Response to COVID-19, which has a total budget of nearly $3 billion.
According to a recent report from American credit rating agency Fitch Ratings, Morocco has the potential to overcome the COVID-19 crisis and minimize its impact on the economy.
Fitch Ratings cited Morocco’s monetary policy, its foreign currency reserve, and its proactive strategy as the country’s main economic strengths.