COVID-19 Data: USD 195bn Revenue Loss For Global Tourism

Countries have suffered the biggest revenue loss, along with the highest percentage of GDP lost according to because of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Due to widespread travel bans and restrictions, many airlines and travel operators have had to cancel long-awaited holidays, resulting in world tourism to be at an all-time low.

Global travel and tourism contributed USD 8.9 trillion to the world’s GDP in 2019. Due to the impact of Covid-19 on World tourism, the total revenue loss in the first four months of 2020 has been recorded at USD 195 billion worldwide. 

Countries with most tourism revenue loss due to Covid-19

Tourism supported 7.8 million jobs in the US and was accounted for 2.8% of the US GDP in 2018. In the first four months of 2020, the US has been placed at the top with a total revenue loss of $31 million as it has the highest number of Covid-19 cases. 31 out of 50 states in the US had been placed into lockdown by the end of March 2020, and in the same month, a travel ban prohibited travel from the Schengen zone, UK, or Ireland to enter the US, resulting in a major impact on tourism revenue. 

Europe consists of 50 percent of the topmost financially impacted countries including Spain, France, Germany, Italy, and the UK. Spain is the European country with the highest revenue loss of USD 9.74 million with a drop of 98% in international tourist arrivals in June. Despite the return of tourists to the destination, a rise in Covid-19 cases meant the UK imposed a quarantine warning against anyone arriving back from Spain as of the end of July. This new rule states that Spain’s loss in revenue continues to increase as tourism slows again. 


With over 89 million tourists every year, France is the world’s most visited country. But due to Covid-19, France faced a total revenue loss of £8,767 million. This major loss makes it the third country in the world with the most revenue loss and second in Europe due to the pandemic.

Countries which have lost the highest percentage of GDP due to loss of tourism

From March 23rd to July 22nd,2020, Turks and Caicos Islands closed its border to tourists resulting in the islands facing the highest GDP loss of 9.2%. The Turks and Caicos economy is mainly dependent on US tourism visiting the destination, hence the travel ban is thought to have cost the islands an estimated USD 22 million a month.

The Southern Caribbean Sea, Aruba, a luxury holiday destination, welcomed an estimated one million tourists each year. Due to Covid-19, the country suffers a 9% GDP loss, making it the second in the list.

The hub for gambling, Macau, saw a gaming revenue fall of 94.5% year-on-year in July due to China’s ban on tourist visas and the impact of Covid-19. Macau ranks third for the highest loss in GDP with a total percentage loss of 8.8% with gaming being the main source of tourism. 

The Caribbean was visited by more than 32 million people last year, and more than half of them were US tourists. The number of tourists that once accounted for 50-90% of the GDP for most of the Caribbean countries had decreased due to travel bans all over the world. Countries in the Caribbean make up to 50% of those which faced the highest percentage loss in GDP, with Turks and Caicos Islands, Aruba, Antigua, and Barbuda, St. Lucia, and Grenada all ranking in the list of the 10 most worst affected. 

The Director of International Development at Official ESTA, Jayne Forrester, stated: “The last few months have undoubtedly been extremely difficult for the travel and tourism industry. Amid the global pandemic, many popular holiday destinations have had to close their borders to tourists and the financial impact this has brought on world tourism has not only impacted all countries around the world but also airlines and travel operators.

“As travel came to a standstill for many months, countries around the world that rely on tourism for their economy and jobs are now seeing significant drops in revenue and GDP. Taking into account how travel and tourism contribute $8.9 trillion to the world’s GDP alone, it is devastating to see a total loss of $195 billion worldwide in the first four months of 2020 alone.”

Further continuing: “As travel bans have started to ease off from July, we only hope that we see no more significant losses to one of the largest growing sectors in the world.”

Also Read: Hong Kong Bans Air India Flights Over COVID-19 Concerns


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