“The health of the tourism industry has a huge impact on the lives of millions of people. Vigorous vaccination to protect populations and support a safe restart of tourism is critical to rebuilding the industry's human capacity and generating much-needed resources, especially in developing countries, many of which rely heavily on international tourism, ”said the Secretary General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization ( UNWTO) Zurab Pololikashvili.
Earlier, the UN gave forecasts regarding the recovery of world tourism. According to them, an increase in the number of international travel is possible in the second half of 2021. Moreover, the greatest chances of attracting tourists will have those countries where the majority of residents will take root from COVID-19.
France, Germany, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States are named as examples of countries whose tourism sector will recover faster due to high rates of vaccination of the population. Travel destinations in Asia and Africa will continue to cause travelers a low level of trust for a long time, according to UNWTO, due to the low percentage of vaccinations.
In general, according to the UN, in 2020 the losses to the global economy due to the direct and indirect consequences of a sharp decline in the number of international tourist arrivals amounted to more than $ 2.4 trillion compared to the level of 2019. Between January and December 2020, international travel fell 73%, with more than 1 billion travel postponed.
According to UNWTO forecasts, in 2021 the situation with world tourism may develop according to three scenarios. The tourist flow will be 75% less compared with 2019, and in this case the tourism sector will receive less than $ 2.4 trillion. The second option is that travel activity will decrease by 63%, and the tourism business will lose $ 1.7 trillion in profits. Finally, the third scenario assumes a 37% reduction in tourism in countries with relatively high vaccination rates. Countries in which vaccination is not so active run the risk of much larger losses - up to 75%.
“Undoubtedly, only active vaccination can help world tourism. And St. Petersburg is one of the centers of international tourism, and for the economy of our city the absence of guests from abroad is more than noticeable. Today we are actively working to attract deferred demand towards St. Petersburg, so that after the opening of borders in the world, we can begin to compensate for the losses suffered by our travel industry during the pandemic. And, of course, the third scenario of the development of the situation with world tourism, taking into account all the difficulties, seems to us very optimistic. But in order for the forecasts to become a positive reality, we must take care of the preservation of the entire large team of the city's tourism industry, as well as protect ourselves and all our guests, ”commented Sergey Korneev, Chairman of the St. Petersburg Tourism Development Committee.
As a reminder, the head of the city committee appealed to the professionals in the tourism and hospitality industry of St. Petersburg with a request to support the industry by vaccinating their employees.
St. Petersburg became the first city in Russia to join the international tourism safety information marketing program - Safe Travels (safe travel) and has adopted its Safe Travels SPb information sign for safe and comfortable travel. The standards for the safe operation of hospitality industry organizations adopted in St. Petersburg were agreed with Rospotrebnadzor and synchronized with the protocols of the World Tourism and Travel Council, the recommendations of the World Tourism Organization and the UN World Health Organization.
The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is the world's largest intergovernmental tourism organization with the status of a specialized UN agency. The main goal of the UNWTO is to contribute to the development of tourism as the main factor in ensuring international peace and mutual understanding, world trade and strengthening links between states.