Tourism and COVID-19

WTTC Economic Impact Reports:

  • Following a loss of almost US$4.9 trillion in 2020 (-50.4% decline), Travel & Tourism's contribution to GDP increased by US$1 trillion (+21.7% rise) in 2021.

  • In 2019, the Travel & Tourism sector contributed 10.3% to global GDP; a share which decreased to 5.3% in 2020 due to ongoing restrictions to mobility. 2021 saw the share increasing to 6.1%.

  • In 2020, 62 million jobs were lost, representing a drop of 18.6%, leaving just 271 million employed across the sector globally, compared to 333 million in 2019. 18.2 million jobs were recovered in 2021, representing an increase of 6.7% year-on-year.

WTTC Travel & Tourism Impact 2019

WTTC Travel & Tourism Impact 2020

WTTC Travel & Tourism Impact 2021

UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, January 2022

Will global tourism survive the COVID Crisis? (Al Jazeera, 25min)

2020 Worst year on record for tourism

Unprecedented Impact from COVID-19

2021 International Tourist Arrivals

International Tourist Arrivals by Month (2019-2021)

International Tourist Arrivals and Tourism Receipts 2000-2021

Travel and Tourism Contributions to GDP, 2019 (

The Growth of the Tourism Industry (pre-COVID)

Tourism through History
(UNWTO 5min)

The History of Tourism
( 15min)

The Changing Face of Tourism
(The Economist 2min)

Package Tourism
( 8min)

Where do people travel and why? Tourism Arrivals, Tourism Receipts, and Reasons for Travel

Tourism Arrivals, 2019, All Countries
Data, World Bank

Tourism Receipts, 2019, All Countries
Data, World Bank

18 Different Types of Tourism
Article -

Classifying Tourism
Tabe -

Who travels and why?

OECD Household Disposable Income

The Countries With the Most (and Least) Paid Vacation Time, Mapped
Article + Map, Mental Floss

The Henley Passport Index
Check your country's passport freedom

The Economic Impact of Tourism

Tourism Arrivals, 2016

Tourism Departures per 1,000, 2017 (OurWorldInData)

Travel & Tourism Global Impact 2020 (2019 Data) (WTTC)

Travel & Tourism Top 20 Countries in GDP, 2019 (WTTC)

Tourist Spending, 2018 (

Tourism Dependence, 2017 (

International Tourism down 70% in 2020
(UNWTO Tourism Barometer)

FlightRadar24 - Track flights around the world

Tourism Competitiveness Report: Country Profiles

Global Travel Market Study (Oxford Economics-Trip Advisor)

International sporting events

International sporting events like the Olympics and the FIFA World Cup are huge for tourism. Purists are all about the game however, like any big event, there is a lot of geography to unpack outside of the day-to-day matches. The Digital Atlas Project has combed the many media outlets to curate an ever-growing list of articles about the FIFA World Cup in Qatar (2022) that take you beyond the hype of the game itself. Open the list to the right to learn more.

The cost of Hosting the Olympics
(2022 BBC - 3:19)

Why hosting the Olympics isn't worth it anymore
(Business Insider - 5min)

2016 Olympics - What Rio doesn't want the world to see
(Vox - 9min)

Why are the 2022 Winter Olympics so controversial?
(PBS Newshour - 6:14)

The costly Problem of Leftover Stadiums
(NBC News - 3:16)

How the Olympics became so expensive to host cities
(CNBC - 18min)

The Reality of Brazil's Olympic tourism
(CGTN - 2min)

"Slum Tourism" in Rio's Favelas
(France24 - 1:40)

Tourism Issues

(The Atlantic 5min)

Is Tourism killing Venice?
(BBC News 3min)

Crowded Out: The Story of Overtourism
(ResponsibleTravel 23min)

Tourism and the Heritage Curse
(Al Jazeera 25min)

Can Tourism Ruin Cities?
(CityBeautiful 10min)

Tourism Dependency: Tourism and the Resource Curse

Tourism's Invisible Burden
The Travel Foundation - 1:55

Toxic Tourism:
The Unwelcome Impact
Roundtable - 3:19

Countries Most Reliant on Tourism
Infrographic - VisualCapitalist 2020

Tourism as a % of Exports
Data - World Bank


Tourism and Climate Change

Sustainable Tourism and Community-based Tourism

Why sustainable tourism?
The Tourism Foundation - 4min

Sustainable Tourism
Sustaining Tourism - 2min

The Brutally Honest Sustainable Tourism Video
ReThinking Tourism - 5:43

What is sustainable tourism? Why sustainable tourism management is so important
TourismTeacher - 9:15

What is Responsible Tourism?
TourismTeacher - 13min

Can Tribal Cultures and Communities benefit from Tourism?
Article - Responsible Travel

What is Community-based Tourism?
Article - Treehugger

Community-based tourism
Visit places you won’t find on Google and have a positive impact on local communities.
Article - Intrepid