United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) predicts that international tourists are going to drop by at least 85% in the first quarter of 2021 due to Covid-19 restrictions.
According to UNWTO, about 32% of destinations worldwide are on complete border shutdown, while another 34% is on a partial shutdown.
The shutdowns are a result of the second wave and third wave of Covid-19 which is coming with it new variants.
In its World Tourism Barometer, UNWTO said “With 32% of destinations worldwide showing complete border closures in early February and another 34% with a partial closure, UNWTO expects international tourist arrivals to be down about 85% in the first quarter of 2021 over the same period of 2019. This would represent a loss of some 260 million international arrivals when compared to pre-pandemic levels.
‘’…By regions, Asia and the Pacific (-96%), the region which continues to have the highest level of travel restrictions in place, recorded the largest decrease in international arrivals in January.
‘’Europe and Africa both saw a decline of 85% in arrivals, while the Middle East recorded a drop of 84%. International arrivals in the Americas decreased by 77% in January, following somewhat better results in the last quarter of the year,’’ read the barometer.
The drop in international tourists affects such countries as Zimbabwe whose tourism depend heavily on foreign travellers.
The campaign is seen as the only available lifeline for the tourism sector which employs thousands of people directly and millions indirectly.
Tourism is also one of Zimbabwe’s key pillars for economic revival together with agriculture and mining.
However, despite the Zimbho campaign, locals are currently not enticed enough to travel due to exorbitant user fees charged by tourism players. The government has also weighed in by foregoing value-added tax (VAT) to organisations that will be offering products for domestic tourism.-