MADRID, September 16. /TASS/. The global tourism sector lost about $460 billion in the first half of 2020 due to the drop of international travel worldwide, caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic, the UN World Tourism Organization said on Tuesday.
"The massive drop in international travel demand over the period January-June 2020 translates into a loss of 440 million international arrivals and about US$ 460 billion in export revenues from international tourism. This is around five times the loss in international tourism receipts recorded in 2009 amid the global economic and financial crisis," the UN agency said.
According to the organization, international tourist arrivals dropped by 65% during the first half of the year as countries started to introduce travel restrictions and close borders in an effort to contain the infection.
Asia and the Pacific, the first region to feel the impact of COVID-19 on tourism, was the hardest hit, with a 72% fall in tourists for the six-month period. Europe is second, with a decline of 66%. The Americas (-55%), Africa and the Middle East (both -57%) also suffered.
About 29.3 million cases of the novel coronavirus infection have so far been registered worldwide. More than 928,000 people died.