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Tourism Industry Statistics Showing COVID-19’s Impact – 2023 Numbers

Susan Laborde Tech Writer Author expertise
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Tourism has been an essential revenue-generating sector, providing over 320 million jobs globally. According to statistics, the Tourism industry employs many women, representing 54% of the workforce. But the industry was greatly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Countries dependent on tourism felt the impact longer than other nations with diverse sources of revenue. In countries like Barbados, the pandemic halted the sector, significantly affecting the country’s income. This article provides adequate information on the impact of Covid- 19 on the tourism industry.

Let’s take a look.

Global Impact in 2020

Global Impact in 2020

The pandemic affected the tourism industry negatively, and the unemployment rate increased.

1. Globally, the travel and tourism industry generated $396.37 billion in revenue in 2020. This was a 42.1% decline in growth from 2019.
2. In 2020, there was a decline in the patronage of tourist accommodations in the European Union by 51%.

3. In 2019, 243 million Europeans made at least one tourism trip, but this reduced by 21% to 193 million in the preceding year.

4. The travel and tourism industry lost a minimum of $1.2 trillion of gross domestic product globally after 4 months of being shut down during the pandemic.

5. UNCTAD estimated that for every $1 million lost in international revenue, there is a reduction by a minimum of $2 million in a country’s national income.

6. Travel and tourism are responsible for 1 in 10 jobs. This implies 330 million jobs and a contribution of 10.3% to the global gross domestic product.

7. International tourism had a projection to decrease in 2020 by 60 to 80 percent. Tourism revenue generation will likely not return to how it was before the pandemic until 2024. This puts 120 million jobs in the sector at risk.

8. Tourists in 2020 took about 1 billion international trips globally. This is 30% less than the estimated 1.46% of trips for the year due to travel restrictions during the Covid-19 pandemic.

9. Women make up 54% of the tourism workforce.

10. Tourism represents over 20% of the gross domestic product for some countries.

11. In 2019, tourism made up 7% of global trade.

United States Tourism

United States Tourism

12. The travel and tourism industry provides 15.8 million American Jobs. The tourism and travel sector gives jobs to one in every 10 Americans.

13. There was an increase of 3.5% in the unemployment rate due to Covid-19. Retrenchment of employees caused the United States unemployment rate to increase from 3.5% to 7.1% in barely two months during the pandemic.

14. The United States was projected to lose revenue above every other country.

15. The US lost more than other countries in dollars, twice China, which stands in second place.

16. Tourism represents 21% of Hawaii’s economy. Visitors in 2012 spent over $14 billion in Hawaii. This industry fell by 95% during the Covid-19 pandemic as residents of states were mandated to stay home.

17. In the first quarter of 2020, Florida experienced a decline in tourism activities by 10.7%. This decline in Florida’s tourism sector caused a loss of $ 67 billion in its economy.

18. Hotels in Austin had a 3% booking in April 2020. Hotels in Austin-Texas experienced a significant reduction in the number of rooms booked from 10,777 in 2019 to 342 in 2020.

19. There was a reduction in US spending on tourism by 31%. Due to the pandemic, the United States experienced a 31% reduction in travel expenses. This means a decline in travel expenses to $355 billion in 2020.

Air Travel

Air Travel

20. 217 countries imposed travel restrictions to limit the spread of the coronavirus. Lockdown measures were imposed by many governments when the pandemic was at its peak.

21. The travel and tourism industry had the most significant casualty. The pandemic greatly affected the travel and tourism industry.

22. Passenger airlines revenue declined by 55% from 2019. According to the International Air transport association, the tourism industry fell by $314 billion.

23. 97 countries representing 45% of destinations, implemented partial or total border closure.

24. 39 countries representing 18% of destinations, implemented border closure to specific goals.

25. 65 countries representing 30% of destinations, suspended flights partially or totally.

26. 16 countries representing 7% of destinations, required visitors to follow quarantine measures.

27. Report from Flightrader reveals a decline in the average number of commercial flights. In January and February 2020, commercial flights were reduced by over 100,000. The sector experienced a further reduction to 78,500 in March and 29,400 flights in April.

28. Passenger revenue was projected to decline by $314 billion in 2020. According to the air travel report, 2020 experienced a 55% reduction in revenue generation from its 2019 record.

29. International flights were reduced by 80%. On May 4, 2020, there was a reduction of 80% in the number of international flights. The majority of airlines closed operations due to borders closure.

30. In June 2020, International Air Transport Association reported a loss of $84.3 billion globally by airlines. Income in the aviation sector was projected to be negative throughout 2021 as countries are recuperating and slowly lifting barrier bans.

31. International Air Transport Association predicts a 50% increase in the price of plane tickets. The cost of plane tickets with social distancing measures was expected to increase by 50% globally.

Lodging and Hotel Sector

Lodging and Hotel Sector

32. Airline ticket fares rose by 13.75% and 10.9% yearly. At the height of the Covid -19 pandemic, the price of airline tickets of a company increased by 13.7% and 10.9% between April 13 and May 4.

33. Hotels in the United States have lost over $46 billion in room revenue. Hotel experts state a loss of $400 million daily due to low patronage of hotel rooms.

34. AHLA speculates room occupancy to be below 20%. For most hotel business owners, an occupancy rate of 35% and below means closing up business.

35. According to McKinsey analysis, the pandemic is most likely to cause a shift to digital bookings. Travelers will be more flexible on booking options and likely make last-minute changes. For instance, in China, over 90% of trip bookings were made within seven days of the trip.

36. Revenue per available room was projected to fall by 20% in 2023. In the worst-case situation, RevPAR is estimated at 20% in 2023.

37. Luxury room Revenue per available room is the slowest to return. The RevPAR of the luxury room is the slowest to return as it involves higher semi-fixed costs and variable costs.

38. 51% of Americans are likely to frequent a hotel. According to the Ipsos survey, 51% of Americans will likely keep a lodge in the same hotel. The hospitality sector has been experiencing an improvement in the rate at which customers frequent their service.

39. Airbnb has been experiencing some challenges. 64% indicated concerns and were unsure of undergoing their intended booking due to the pandemic.

40. 47% of hosts felt unsafe renting out lodges to guests.

Beverage and Food

Beverage and Food

41. 70% of guests had concerns about staying at Airbnb.

42. 44% of hosts predicted a reduction in revenue from June to August.

43. Daily rates decline to $90.

44. $236 million was reportedly lost by Hyatt in the second quarter; this indicates a 376% reduction in income from 2019.

45. Full-service restaurants in the United States saw a decline in reservations in March by 41% across the country during the pandemic. Open table reservations crash to 41% across the US as coronavirus spreads.

46. Working hours in local restaurants dropped by 40%. There was a decline in the number of working hours on March 17 by 40% in local restaurants and bars and an overall reduction of hourly workers by 45%.

47. Out of 3 restaurants lose their jobs. National Restaurant Association reports that the pandemic has incredibly hit workers. 

48. 91% of the hourly workforce was laid off. James beard foundation discovered that 91% of the hourly workforce in restaurants was laid off, with 70% of salaried employees due to Covid-19.

49. Dining industry to lose$240 billion in 2020. National Restaurant Association forecasted the dining industry to lose $240 billion at the end of 2020.

50. The restaurant’s biggest challenge was reopening. According to a James Beard Foundation survey conducted during the epidemic, 41% of restaurants had gradual consumer returns, 35% needed money for vendors, and 16% needed new personnel.

51. 33% of consumers increase takeout. The rate of takeout by consumers reached 33% after the pandemic.

Attractions and Tour

Attractions and Tour

52. 90% of cultural institutions closed business doors. Due to the pandemic, about 90% of cultural institutions shut their doors, and about 13% may never resume activity.

53. Metropolitan Opera lost $60 million. The New York giant had to cancel its season show at the end of March, thereby incurring an estimated loss of $60 million in revenue.

54. Safari experienced a decline in bookings by 75%. The pandemic greatly impacted the revenue of Africa’s US$12.4 billion safari industry. Due to the restriction policy, it experienced a 75% decline in bookings.

55. 80% of ships had cases of covid-19 on board. The CDC issued a standing order that ships within the United States jurisdiction should not set sail between March and October.

56. Master cards experienced a 45% reduction in travel-related transactions. The credit company had a 45% decline in its usage for travel-related transactions.

57. 77% of the America Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) predicted no business activity for six months. Members of ASTA forecasted nonexistent business for about 6 months due to the pandemic.

58. Watt Disney lost about $5 billion. During April, May, and June, the theme parks of Watt Disney Co were closed, causing a loss of revenue.

Business Travel

Business Travel

59. Global business travel was predicted to lose $810.7 billion in revenue in 2020. According to estimates, the pandemic will hit worldwide sales by $810.7 billion, with China’s travel spending predicting a $404.21 billion drop.

60. The US travel economy lost $250 billion. Due to the pandemic, the United States lost $250 billion at the beginning of March.

61. 5 to 10 business travels lost due to remote work tools. Experts predicted increased loss of business travel due to a shift to virtual meetings.

62. 89% reduction in business travel occurred due to the pandemic. The decline in business travel was far more significant than during the great recession and 9/11 losses. Half of all businesses canceled travel arrangements due to the pandemic.

International Tourism Prospect in 2023

63. Tourism travel to reach 80% to 95% of pre-pandemic. According to UNWTO research, the travel industry may return to 80 to 95 percent of pre-pandemic levels by 2023, with the Middle East and Europe expected to play critical roles in the recovery.


The third-largest export industry in the world economy is tourism. Some nations’ gross domestic product is 20% of it. Millions of individuals in developed and developing economies are employed in this sector. The tourist sector employs one person for every ten employees. However, one of the Covid-19 epidemic areas was most badly damaged, hurting opportunities, public services, and lifestyles in various countries.


How many travelers were there in 2020?

What proportion of tourists decreased in 2020?

What are the key challenges facing the travel and tourism sector?


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Susan Laborde Tech Writer

Susan Laborde Tech Writer

Susan Laborde researches the latest technology trends in an ever-changing tech landscape to provide comparisons, guides, and reviews that are easy to understand for readers. When taking a break from being a tech word wizard, she plays games with her baby.

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