International tourism bounce-back more likely in 2022: UN

Author
Newstalk ZB / news.com.au,
Publish Date
Wed, 28 Oct 2020, 4:26PM
International tourist arrivals plunged by 70 per cent during the first eight months of 2020, the World Tourism Organisation says. File photo / Greg Bowker
International tourist arrivals plunged by 70 per cent during the first eight months of 2020, the World Tourism Organisation says. File photo / Greg Bowker

International tourism bounce-back more likely in 2022: UN

Author
Newstalk ZB / news.com.au,
Publish Date
Wed, 28 Oct 2020, 4:26PM

It's the timeline that keeps on moving, but if you'd hoped international tourism might be back on the cards by mid-2021, well, you may be waiting a few months longer.

The World Tourism Organisation (WTO) revealed on Tuesday that international tourist arrivals unsurprisingly plunged by 70 per cent during the first eight months of 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

But it is its prediction for when that number is set to rebound that will have you putting away your passport.

While the body predicts any form of rebound won't happen until the third quarter of 2021, citing travel restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic, others can't see any real movement until 2022.

In a statement, the panel said the main obstacles that faced international travel recovery include border closures and travel restrictions, along with slow containment of the virus and shaky traveller confidence.

With a third wave sweeping the US, which now has 8.7 million confirmed Covid-19 cases, and Russia, France, Spain and Argentina recording one million cases, with the United Kingdom not far behind, one in five experts say 2022 is a more accurate timeline for any international travel recovery.

Last week, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce and chairman Richard Goyder revealed it will be unlikely for Australians to fly to the US or the UK with the airline for at least another year, with Joyce pointing to a possibility "by the end of 2021".

"For some of our big destination like the United States and the UK, it's going to need a vaccine given the high prevalence of the virus in both of those locations," he said at the company's AGM in Sydney on Friday.

"But we are getting more and more confident about the opportunities and the potential for a vaccine in helping getting those operations up by potentially by the end of 2021."