About 120 million jobs in tourism worldwide are threatened by the Covid-19 pandemic, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Tuesday.
“In the first five months of this year, international tourist arrivals fell by more than fifty percent and about $320 billion in income through tourism were lost,” he said.
While restrictive measures are in place in many parts of the world due to Covid-19, flights are grounded and borders are closed, Guterres says developing countries are particularly hardest hit, including those in Africa.
"Falling incomes have led to an increase in poaching and habitat destruction in and around protected areas, and the closure of many World Heritage sites has deprived communities of important livelihoods," the UN leader added.
It has also had a negative impact on women, rural communities and indigenous people, he said, pointing to the importance of rebuilding the tourism sector, which employs one in ten people worldwide.
Guterres listed five key areas, including mitigating the socio-economic effects of the pandemic and supporting green growth as ways to promote the sector’s recovery.