Israel Talks about Impact of COVID-19 on the Tourism Sector

After more than a year, the world has finally started getting back to normal after being hit by it. As the situation continues to normalize, countries from all over the world have started assessing the losses they have incurred in all sectors. Although COVID-19 has been disastrous for every sector, yet its impact on tourism has been enormous.

Tourism Sector’s Annual Input in Global GDP for 2019

As a veteran analyst and researcher, it is Israel Figa’s job to compile data around the disastrous results of the pandemic for all the economic sectors in the world. Before providing statistics around the tourism sector for the year 2020, Israel Figa has provided stats for the former year to make a comparison.

The research conducted by Israel Figa on the global tourism sector shows that in the year 2019, the tourism sector managed to add $8.9 trillion to the global GDP, which is an enormous figure.

When it comes to generating highest revenues, the top countries include USA, Spain, France, Thailand, UK, Italy, Australia, Germany, Japan, and Macau (China). The United States alone generated around $215 billion worth of revenue in the year 2019, while countries such as Thailand have tourism is one of their highest revenue generating sectors.

Tourism Sector’s Annual Input in Global GDP for 2020

While the entire world had expected to generate even more revenue in the year 2020, things ended up going the other way than what the world governments had considered them to be. Although the fear of the pandemic had started spreading all over the world from the start of 2020, it wasn’t until mid-March of 2020 when the entire world went under a strict lockdown.

As the coronavirus outbreak was announced as a pandemic, countries had to do something before it could get worse. Therefore, majority of the countries from all over the world cancelled flights incoming from abroad. This resulted in companies cancelling business trips, people ended up cancelling their holiday plans, borders were closed, and travel bans were imposed.

Such strict measures not only resulted in the tourism sector to take a huge blow but also other sectors such as aviation, eateries, transportation, manufacturing plants, and many more.

However, the tourism sector ended up taking an enormous hit as the sector’s revenue for the year 2020 was around $1.5 trillion less than the previous year.

3D Rendering of planet Earth made to look like a virus cell.

Countries Affected the Most by COVID-19

Israel Figa adds that although countries from all over the world ended up facing huge losses and saw their tourism revenues drop tremendously, countries that were generating the highest revenues from tourism in 2019 took the lowest blow.

United States

The country that generated the highest revenue in tourism compared to others was undoubtedly the United States of America. In the year 2019, the country had generated around $215 billion from tourism. However, when the pandemic shifted its attention towards America, it turned out that the country was not ready to face it at all. The COVID-19 outbreak in the country was enormous and so far, more than half a million in the United States have lost their lives to the pandemic.

As things turned for the worst, the US had no option but to cut itself out of the entire world, meaning it cancelled all incoming flights from any countries and the country went under strict lockdowns.

This resulted in the country losing more than $147 billion in the tourism sector alone, which is 68% of the total revenue it had generated in 2019.


The next country in the list is Spain that was the first country after China with an alarming COVID-19 outbreak. As the pandemic hit the country, it ended up losing more than 77,000 lives and countries from all over the world cut their traveling ties with the country because of the fear. This resulted in the country facing huge losses in terms of tourism.

In the year 2019, Spain had earned the second spot for being the highest revenue generating country from tourism after the United States. The country had reportedly generated around $80 billion from the tourism sector and for the year 2020, the country ended up losing $46.71 billion due to the same.


The third country in the list is France that incurred the third-highest amount of losses in the year 2020 from the tourism sector. France was also one of the countries that was hit hard by the pandemic and the number of casualties the country faced due to the coronavirus were 102,000.

According to stats, the country had reportedly generating $63.8 billion from tourism in revenues. However, as the pandemic hit the country and the traveling bans were imposed, the country was not able to generate even half of the revenues it had generated in the year 2019. The figures show that in the year 2020, the losses France incurred for the tourism sector were around $42 billion.

The Major Concern

Although the situation around the world has now started getting back to normal after the pandemic and the discovery of the vaccines, still, the clouds of COVID-19 are lingering over the entire world. Several countries from around the world such as India are facing highest death toll in the country from the pandemic in the recent weeks.

If the COVID-19 situation is not put to an end soon, the tourism sector would end up taking another huge blow in the year 2021. If the situation does not turn better, then more than 40 million jobs will be lost that the tourism sector is currently accommodating.

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