The journey of the coronavirus from an epidemic to pandemic has greatly influenced tourism in 2020. The otherwise crowded tourist hotspots remain empty. This heavy impact will certainly cost us the world economy this year. And, this which will likely reflect during the third and the fourth quarters of 2020. Needless to say, the coronavirus pandemic has created an imbalance in the first-half of Q1 in 2020.
Considering the devastation, and the state of panic induced by the coronavirus pandemic or the Covid-19 disease, the pharmaceutical sector may experience upward growth. While this is more to do with the demand and the hapless means of experimenting with cures. Right from stalking up the over-the-counter medications for common cold or fever to having an impeccable collection of face and nose masks. Or even dousing oneself with sanitizers, the panic is many folds and understanding the need for unavoidable travel this hour is a major concern.
Here is What WHO and UNWTO Say in Connection to Coronavirus Pandemic
Recently, the WHO (World Health Organization) and UNWTO (United Nations World Tourism Organization) released a joint statement concerning coronavirus and tourism in 2020. With this regard, WHO presently does not recommend travel restrictions or limitations.
While the Director-General of WHO stated that the COVID-19 or the coronavirus pandemic is a ‘Public Health Emergency of International Concern’
Now, this statement is believed to uplift the falling economy. Nevertheless, it may take up the entirety of the Q2 to reach a static phase where the world economy would no longer take a downward plunge.
COVID-19 or the Coronavirus Pandemic and Tourism Sector
The major concern at this time around is the containment of the virus to ensure the counting numbers of victims and likely infections reach a static. And, achieve this collective goal, international cooperation is the need of the hour. In fact, it is critical to the role played by the tourism sector in the containment of the coronavirus.
Also, in this endeavour, both UNTWO and the WHO are now partnering to ensure the implementation of the right and effective preventive measures. But at the same time, they are also striving to minimise the havoc of the coronavirus pandemic. One such initiative involves making certain that it would not interfere with both international travel and trade.
WHO believes that UNTWO has to respond by reinforcing measured yet consistent measures to tackle this current public health threat. That being said, the UNTWO will implement these responses based on local risk assessment. Meaning every aspect of the global tourism value chain including and not limited to tourists, private companies and public bodies. Also, these measures will be in sync with the overall guidance and recommendations as proposed by the WHO.
While these recommendations are in place, UNTWO believes that any additional restrictions apart from these will further impact the tourism. Also, with negative repercussions. The bottom line is in this challenging time set forth by the coronavirus pandemic, both the WHO and UNTWO collaborate to support the coronavirus or the COVID-19 affected countries.
Coronavirus Pandemic: Should I Cancel my Trip to Europe?
While the WHO recommendations are being gradually implemented and the prices of the regular sanitizers and nose mask skyrocketing, there is yet another major concern. Which is deciding whether to travel to Europe or Asia for this holiday season.
Outside China, the Philippines reported its first death due to COVID-19. And, apart from China, Itlay so far had the highest number of coronavirus cases reported. France has seen a drastic 40% drop in its tourist arrivals in the Q1 2020 according to Finance Minister, Bruno Le Maire.
In a press conference, he further stated that France welcomes close to 2.7 Chinese tourists every year. And, with this coronavirus pandemic, which all started in Wuhan, China is certainly going to have a negative impact on France’s tourism and economy.
While tourism accounts for 8% of GDP in France, 89.4 million foreign tourist arrivals were reported in France in the year 2018. Needless to say, the coronavirus pandemic will certainly influence its GDP negatively this year.
Region-wise Coronavirus Cases Reported as of March 2020
January to June are the months for planning a trip abroad. Europe is a preferred destination. And, especially the Schengen Zone which consists of both European and Non-European countries. Italy, Rome, France, Vatican Germany, etc are some of the popular tourist destinations.
Let us take a look at the regions affected in France, Italy, and Germany to conclude whether it is safe to travel to Europe this season.
Italy tourism as of March 2020
Italy so far ranks as the fourth country with 3089 coronavirus cases, out of which 107 resulted in death while only 276 have recovered. However, 295 of these cases remain in critical condition.
Also, the government of Italy have closed off most of the otherwise active tourist hotspots along with its schools and colleges. Nevertheless, one may find a handful of tourists flocking the streets of Italy.
Needless to say, at present travel to Italy is banned while the North is closed off. 16 million people are subjected to quarantine.
Germany tourism as of March 2020
In Germany so far 444 cases have been reported of which only 16 have recovered while 2 are in critical states. While not severely affected, tourist may take a turn to Germany this year.
France tourism as of March 2020
When compared to Germany, France has reported 285 cases. However, out of these 4 deaths were reported while 43 were on the road to recovery.
The bottom line is along with travel bans to certain regions of the world, remaining on high alert is imperative. While the number of cases reported is overwhelming, a recovery period is essential, which is likely to last for the rest of the Q3 2020.