Many countries are beginning to look at how to start a vital engine for their economies, tourism. Lockdowns have begun to ease.
The European Union is looking at ways it can open its borders safely to summer visitors. Australians could be permitted to travel to New Zealand starting in July. Some Caribbean islands like Saint Lucia will reopen starting in June.
According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization, (UNWTO), international tourism numbers could drop by as much as 80% by 2020.
What about in a normal year?
According to the UNWTO latest figures, France is the number one destination for foreign tourists. In 2018, the country was visited by nearly 90 million people.
Spain, which has more than 82 million visitors, is not far behind. The top five are the United States, China, Italy and Italy.
These countries are also the most affected by COVID-19. The US, Italy France, Spain, and Brazil have the highest confirmed coronavirus deaths worldwide.
Lockdowns in these economies caused havoc – as they did in many other countries around the world – and countries that rely on travel and tourism were “particularly large” affected, according to International Monetary Fund.
Spain is the most visited country out of five. International tourists spend approximately $81 billion annually in Spain. This is more than 16%, compared to less than 10% for France or Italy.
These numbers are small in comparison to Saint Lucia where international tourism receipts account for more than 81% total exports.
Globally, The Tourism Industry accounts for 10% GDP and Jobs.