UN Says 2020 Worst Year for Global Tourism, $1.3 trillion Lost 

International tourist arrivals fell by 72% in January-October 2020, with restrictions on travel, low consumer confidence and a global struggle to contain the COVID-19 virus, all contributing to the worst year for tourism on record.
  • Virus Cost Global Tourism $1.3 Trillion 

  • 2020 Worst Year in Tourism History

The United Nations has described 2020 as “the worst year in tourism history” in revenue as the number of people travelling plunged. 

According to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the collapse in international travel represents an estimated loss of USD 1.3 trillion in export revenues 

This is more than 11 times the loss recorded in the 2009 global economic crisis.  

“While much has been made in making safe international travel a possibility, we are aware that the crisis is far from over,” WTO head Zurab Pololikashvili said in the statement released Thursday. 


Asia and the Pacific (-84%) – was the first region to suffer the impact of the pandemic and the one with the highest level of travel restrictions currently in place – recorded the largest decrease in arrivals in 2020 (300 million fewer).  

The Middle East and Africa both recorded a 75% decline.