The Impact of Coronavirus on Tourism Industry
The entire world is facing a time of unprecedented emergency due to the effects of the dreaded CoronaVirus pandemic. Like many other sectors of life, the tourism industry globally is fighting hard to contain the biting consequences of this catastrophe. The negative impact on just this one sector is unquantifiable en masse.
The adverse effects of the pandemic have weighed heavily on the service-oriented industries an has brought an unparalleled and unimaginable Impact in our lives, economies, societies, and livelihoods with growing risks of a global recession and massive job losses.
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Like many other sectors of the economy, the tourism industry has been greatly impacted by the laid down protocols from the health experts and affiliated Disease Control Agencies. Measures like quarantine, travel bans, and border closures in most parts of the world have presented the industry with extreme challenges.
The tourism industry is a major contributor to jobs creation in both the formal and informal sectors. It has the capacity of engaging a large section of the population, like skilled and unskilled labor, women, artisans, and what have you.
Before the pandemic, the tourism industry had greatly expanded, contributing exponentially to the global economy and accounting for well over 60% of jobs.
It becomes very imperative that there have to be coordinated and strong mitigation recovery plans to support this job creation and income-earning sector of our economy.
The loss incidental to the fall-out of the pandemic could be estimated at about 500 to 950 million dollars. We are not sure when the break of this disease will lift and when we will see the end of the crisis.
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What we do know is that millions of jobs are going to be affected and many families are going to be thrown into some form of hardship as many breadwinners will lose their jobs. Of course, this will reflect on the GDPs of the nations of the world.
It is therefore imperative that the world begins to build some sort of buffer zones and survival schemes or mechanisms for companies engaged in this sector of the global economy.
Think about all the services that are associated with the tourism industry and the people who engage in those services.
Services such as the airlines, airport maintenance, cargo handling agencies, tour destinations, tour guides, services like airport cabs, restaurants, hotels, shops, and all the people engaged in these places, operators of tourism sites, etc, the list are endless.
This is the extent of the Impact that is being envisaged in just this one sector. Of course one would naturally expect a spike in the price of air tickets as soon as the flight resume.
The industry needs a well-coordinated effort both on the part of the government and the operators to combat the negative socio-economic impact of the pandemic.
In the interim, there should be some urgent fiscal and monetary measures that will assist and protect jobs, sustain the self-employed, and support companies from liquidation as well as facilitate their eventual bounce-back.
Africa’s economy like many other continents of the world is going to experience massive negative Impacts generally. Already there is job downsizing going on in many companies, like the banks and so on.
We can not totally appreciate the impact all of this is going to have on the African economy until most countries begin to relax the measures put in place to check the further spread of the COVID 19 pandemic.
We, therefore, urge international agencies like the United Nation’s and other donor agencies as a matter of urgency begin to put together plans that will provide some sort of soft landing for these companies and help them deal effectively with all of the envisioned human and structural exigencies and displacements on the global economy, resulting from the CoronaVirus pandemic.