Impact of Covid-19 on Tourism Industry
Tourism has become a major global industry with an annual average growth rate of 4-5%. It also creates 8% of the global GDP and 10% of employment (WTO, 2020). Yet it is also very vulnerable to crises of different origin such as natural disasters, epidemics, economic crises, political crises, and terror (Yozcu & Cetin, 2020). Because tourism product (e.g. hotel beds, airline seats, restaurant tables, guide services) is perishable, unlike physical goods, they cannot be stored for future use. Past crises with few exceptions (e.g. 2008 Financial Crisis) had regional impacts and their global impact on tourism volume was limited. Yet, considering the speed and impact, Covid-19 is the most serious crises tourism industry has ever faced. This crisis is estimated to have a seven time larger impact on tourism than the 2008 Financial Crises. The effects of Covid-19 are expected to extend for eight months and result in a decrease of 39% in global tourism volume. Tourism industry is expected to recover to 2019 pre-crises levels not before 2023 (Tourism Ecomomics, 2020).