Ten countries from the world suffering the biggest tourism revenue loss due to COVID-19

By | January 29, 2021

Tourism revenue loss 2020-2021The coronavirus pandemic has damaged international travel for the last 10 months globally. The travel and tourism industry suffered the most during the past year due to the unpredictable circumstances.

Countries all over the world were forced to close their borders to tourists, often with very little notice. Airlines had to cancel their flights, big international airports were shut down, holiday resorts and tourist destinations were closed from one day to another.

As a result, the pandemic has had an extremely negative financial effect on tourism globally, affecting all countries around the world, and all the players working in the travel industry, such as airlines, tour operators, hotels, restaurants and other hospitality providers. Moving into a new phase of the pandemic in 2021, the vaccine rollouts give hope all around the world, that we can control somehow this brutal virus and people will be able to travel safe and secure again.

Hopefully we can prevent further losses to one of the world’s largest industry.  Based on the data from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) and The World Bank, visa waiver processing firm ESTA we made a list of the countries with the biggest tourism revenue loss due to COVID-19 pandemic in terms of the total number of tourism dollars lost over the first ten months of 2020.

  1. The coronavirus has hit the United States of America the hardest in the world, they reported more COVID-19 cases and deaths than any other country. Additionally, the U.S. has experienced the biggest tourism revenue loss due to the pandemic, a remarkable USD 147.245 billion was missing from the national budget in the first ten months of 2020. Several states were locked down on travel to slow the spread of COVID-19 and the country itself was closed from international travel including key markets such as Europe.
  2. Spain welcomed less than 20 million foreign visitors in 2020 and suffered the largest tourism revenue loss of any European country at USD 46.707 million. Past summer the country reopened to travelers from other EU and Schengen-area countries
  3. France, the world’s most visited country was another big loser in the crisis. Before Covid-19 the country hosted more than 89 million tourists each year, but this number decreased dramatically in 2020 resulting in a total tourism revenue loss of USD 42.036 billion during the first ten months of the year.
  4. Thailand, the Asian hotspot, has seen a USD 37.504 billion tourism revenue loss, the highest among any country in Asia due to the ongoing pandemic. The country has begun safely and slowly reopening to international travelers which is very good news for the country’s economy.
  5. Germany took third place among the European countries in total tourism revenue loss of USD 34.641 billion from January 2020 to October 2020. The country lifted restrictions on travel from nearby nations back in June but still closed to many countries including USA and United Kingdom whose visitors would be essential in the country’s tourism recovery.
  6. The COVID-19 situation was very serious in Italy last spring and the country has suffered dramatic tourism revenue loss in the months since, reporting a total loss of 29.664 billion over the first ten months of 2020. The country remains closed to visitors from the U.S and other key markets.
  7. These days a new variant of coronavirus appeared in the United Kingdom that spread more easily than others casuing a third wave of the virus in Europe. The country’s tourism revenue loss reached USD 27.889 billion in 2020 based on the latest figures.
  8. Altough Australia handled the crisis well reacting quickly and remaining vigilant, the country still misses out on USD 27.206 billion tourism revenue over the first ten months of 2020. Its borders remain closed to international travelers.
  9. The COVID-19 pandemic came at the worst for Japan as they were forced to postpone the Summer Olympics in Tokyo to 2021. Japan’s total tourism revenue loss of USD 26.027 billion in the first ten months of 2020 ranks as the ninth-most of any country worldwide.
  10. In Asia, Hongkong has also been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic resulting a tourism revenue loss of USD 24.069 billion. The Special Administrative Region of China has developed a path to recovery and the Hongkong Tourism Board has recently launched a standardized list of hygiene protocols to help prepare for the restart of inbound travel.