— This is the script of CNBC's news report for China's CCTV on May 29, 2020, Friday.
Over the past five years, tourism has contributed 10.3 percent of global GDP and created about a quarter of new jobs. The impact of covid-19 on the global tourism industry, let's start with a few data sets to get a sense of the impact.
Since the outbreak, all of the 217 destinations tracked by the world tourism organization (WTO) have imposed epidemic-related travel restrictions, the most immediate effect of which has been a sharp decline in commercial flights.
The number of commercial flights worldwide fell from more than 100,000 in January and February to 29,400 in April.
The international air transport association expects airline passenger revenue to fall by $314 billion worldwide this year, down 55 percent from a year earlier.
At the same time, hotel occupancy has declined across the region, with thousands of employees furloughed at Marriott and Hilton, the world's largest hotel chains.
Among the major online travel booking companies, Expedia inc. announced 3, 000 job cuts in February. Ctrip's latest results showed that net revenue in the first quarter fell 42 percent from a year earlier. Airbnb, which expects revenue this year to be less than half of last year's, has already announced a quarter of its global job cuts。
The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) estimates that more than 100 million jobs could be lost globally this year as a result of the outbreak.
Regionally, Europe is more affected. Europe, traditionally the most visited and best-prepared region for tourism workers, directly and indirectly provides about 27 million jobs, and with summer approaching, Europe's traditional travel season may be hard to pull off this year.
Most European tourist destinations are expecting a 30 to 40 per cent year-on-year decline in visitor Numbers this year, with France likely to be the most affected country, with 38 million fewer visitors expected, followed by Spain, 34 million, and Italy, 31 million.
With the lifting of the lockdown, tourism has become one of the key industries for governments to revive.
In Europe, Greece has cut VAT on all transport. Italy will spend 4 billion euros to revive tourism. Slovenia's government plans to offer its citizens a €200 voucher to boost domestic tourism. The government of Cyprus has said it will cover all travel expenses for holidaymakers in the country if they test positive for covid-19. In Asia, the south Korean government has designated June 20 to July 19 as a special tourism period, when major tourist attractions and hotels will offer unprecedented discounts to attract tourists. Japan government has announced measures to boost tourism and restaurants starting in late July, worth about 1.7 trillion yen. Thailand plans to issue travel packages with discounts to attract tourists and Chinese tourists are expected to be the first international tourists to return to Thailand.
Of course, while these recovery plans are being launched, governments are stressing the importance of necessary safeguards, hoping that the recovery of tourism can be promoted under the premise of ensuring security. We will keep an eye on this issue.