The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the global tourism sector. Governments across the world had to implement necessary measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus such that the capacity of the health system is not overwhelmed by the rate of transmission. A direct impact of this was a restriction of movement globally that had an adverse impact of the global capacity utilization of the tourism sector. Different regions of the world as a result of the impact of the coronavirus experienced a fundamental disruptions in the generation of value in the sector, employment, domestic and international movements, sectoral linkages, cost servicing ability, ability to generate foreign reserves amongst other variables in the global tourism value chain.
The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) in its 2020 travel and tourism recovery scenarios projects the global travel and tourism GDP to experience losses in the tune of $2,686 billion in the upside scenario, $3,435 billion in the baseline scenario and the worst case scenario of $5,543 billion for the year 2020. The WTTC further projects that global travel and tourism will experience 98.2 million job losses on the upside scenario, 121.1 million job losses for the baseline scenario and 197.5 million job losses for the worst-case scenario. In relation to International arrivals, WTTC estimates a 41% drop in global international arrivals in the upside scenario, 53% drop in the baseline scenario and 73% drop in the worst-case scenario for 2020. While for global domestic tourism it estimates a drop of 26% in the upside scenario, 34% in the baseline scenario and drop of 64% in the worst-case scenario.
Tourism in South Africa as is the case in the global economy has been thrown into crisis by the COVID- 19 pandemic, putting thousands of businesses and jobs at risk. The priority for the sector is to resume operations as early as it is safe to do so, but re-opening will just be the start of a difficult recovery. The situation requires an urgent response, but also a recognition of the constraints that hamper South Africa’s tourism development. As a truly aspirational destination, combining powerful social justice history, breath-taking natural beauty, and warm, welcoming and diverse people, South Africa’s tourism potential is not limited to pre- crisis performance. This recovery plan proposes a series of measures to protect and rejuvenate supply, reignite demand and strengthen enabling capability. Together, these actions can preserve some R189 billion of value, helping the sector to recover to 2019 output and employment levels in 2022 and positioning the sector for long-term sustainable growth.
Full details in PDF link below.