The world prior to the outburst of covid-19 was moving very swiftly and smoothly. With the sudden impact of this pandemic worldwide, everything came to a halt, whether commercial activities, scientific developments, technological advancements, or even the sector of tourism. One of the major effects of covid-19 on tourism was that traveling became a curse, and the momentum of tourism sectors’ growth came down like a house of cards. This global pandemic of Coronavirus affected major countries whose economy is dependent on tourism alone. The effects of covid-19 on tourism can be overcome, but there is a need to wait a bit longer.
Tourism is a vital sector of an economy. In 2019, globally, 7% of world trade was carried out from the tourism sector, which lies third in the list after fuels and chemicals(UNTWTO). Destinations surrounded by beautiful viewpoints generally do not have nearby markets. Therefore, the only beneficial option left for the public of such regions to fulfill their daily needs is to earn sufficient income through tourists. These regions are highly affected by the virus. The effects of covid-19 on tourism resulted in the arriving ratio of tourists falling to more than 65% since April 2020 worldwide (Adam Behsudi).
Traveling is a process of exploring new countries, their beauty, culture, and traditions. Meeting strangers and enjoying life to its fullest is the best part of traveling. Still, unfortunately, such an experience is not a possibility these days. The hotels feel like an abandoned site, and the staff workers in such hotels do not have other means of earning. Thus, they vacate the area searching for jobs in metropolitan cities, leaving behind the tourism sector at a halt which proved to be one of the most critical effects of covid-19 on tourism sector.
2-Significant effects of covid-19 on tourism
2.1-Influence of air travelers and tourists
The deadly Coronavirus spreads in places filled with people. A person is likely to get this infection if he/she is traveling in a group of people and not following the preventive measures. After the declaration of covid-19 as a global emergency by WHO, prominent vloggers, geologists, and other tourists are retreating. They do not consider it safe to travel to a country affected by this virus.
As mentioned above, the spread of Coronavirus has troubled the global economy in many ways. The health conditions of human beings are also at risk where millions around the world are dying because of it. The current situation is affecting countries, both socially and economically, and a proper policy pattern to control such a crisis is nearly impossible.
2.3-Ceasing of running businesses
Since the outburst of Coronavirus and the declaration of a lockdown situation by the governments of affected countries, the restaurant, cafe, and hotel owners are experiencing a situation of uncertainty as to what will this pandemic ultimately lead to? The downsizing process is leading to a never-ending situation. The cleaning staff, managers, waiters, and security teams are leaving because of pay cuts, leading to chaos. Such effects of covid-19 on tourism are making these industries vulnerable.
2.4-Low economic growth in touristic regions
In regions where the economy is entirely dependent on tourism, it is tough to survive due to the current pandemic situation, especially in areas like the Caribbean and Latin America, where the export services rely almost 50% on travelers’ expenditures. Expected drops in employment levels are about 7% in these two above-mentioned regions while an expected drop of 8% in total GDP.
2.5-Heavy impact on transport services
There is a heavy impact on the transport sector worldwide since the arrival of this deadly virus, which has led to a significant drop in local transport facilities and international transport facilities. Car hiring services, train traveling, airlines, travel agency services are vastly affect. These are the sources of traveling, and with the traveling services shutting down, transport facilities are suffering a major loss.
3-Policies drafted to eliminate the effects of covid-19 on tourism sectors
Governments of the tour spots regions are assuming calculated risks by staying with the decision of carrying out domestic traveling. Following steps proposed by the governments of tourism-based economies are:
- Restoring the dependence of foreigners by following all the precautionary measures.
- Financially aiding the tourism sector to help them get on their feet.
- Creating better relations with foreign countries.
- Increasing domestic traveling by launching discount-based programs countrywide.
- Creating new means for business survival like discounted deals.
- Keeping the environment clean and healthy with regular cleanups and checkups.
Following the above points will eventually lead to lower the effects of covid-19 on tourism.
4-Should tourists travel during the covid-19 pandemic?
A piece of advice to travelers is not to travel until they are properly vaccinated and carry all sorts of precautionary items listed by the healthcare centers like masks, sanitizers, gloves, and other care equipment. According to the CDC, if a person is fully vaccinated and needs to travel to other countries, then he needs to:
- Wear a mask in order to cover the mouth and nasal area.
- Follow each and every guideline provided by the native and foreign states.
- Self-check the symptoms of covid-19, if any, and take action accordingly.
- Self-quarantine is not a requirement after a person is fully vaccinated.
The tourism sector might be suffering currently, but in recent times, things are changing, and that too, at a quick pace, resulting in many hotels, restaurants, and transport services being stable again. The fight against Coronavirus might last a bit longer, but with a recent alteration in the pandemic situation since the introduction of vaccines indicates that the travelers are happy to travel again. Little by little, the effects of covid-19 on tourism will begin to slow down as the vaccines prove to improve people’s immune systems. Even though tourism’s loss is a gain for nature, but such nature is made to be explored, not ignored.
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