Many industries took a large hit when the lockdowns started but a few of them took a large-scale hit and one of them is Tourism Sector. This is not only a concern of one country but a global crisis in itself.
For a large portion of South East Asia, Latin America and Caribbean countries tourism are the main contributors to GDP and a large source of foreign exchange. The proportion can vary from as high as 33% to 15% of GDP. And when lockdowns were implemented all these countries saw a large drop in both the elements with little or no recovery in the last two years.
Now as many countries are slowly reopening and removing restrictions there are some signs of hope. But within last year itself, there has been a revenue loss of $230bn and there is not much optimism of these levels to recover till 2024-25.
It is also a sector that provides large-scale employment to local and migrant labor. And not surprisingly during the lockdown many of the migrant labor returned to their respective native countries with no sign of coming back. This currently is resulting in a large labor shortage in the sector and loss of revenue. It is estimated that Thailand alone requires 300,000 vacancies filled in the sector.
These are only a few of the issues that the sector is going through, from being a top sector of 2019 with large growth rates and new opportunities to the most stressed sector.
To make matters worst, the relief provided at global or individual country levels to this sector is insufficient and will create more issues that take longer to resolve to make the recovery even harder.