Even though travel websites still show enthusiastic faces of happy travelers in their top pages, most offices of travel companies are practically empty worldwide. As it was predicted, travel agents, airlines, restaurants, hotels and many other companies have suspended operations and even some of them have closed due to the lockdown and travel ban measures in several countries around the globe. Following, the massive impact of COVID-19 in the tourism industry.
COVID-19 vs Travel Industry in Numbers
The United Nations World Travel Organization, UNWTO, stated an initial forecast of a declination of 20% to 30% in international arrivals in 2020 worldwide (during the SARS pandemic the reduction reached just 5.4%), causing a diminution of 66% in international tourism receipts. Millions of jobs are at risk in countries such as China, Italy, Spain, and the United States, the major names in the tourism business and in all the continents.
Estimations show that more than 75% of travelers have canceled their bookings due to the pandemic and the main strategy taken by operators was offering alternative routes to non-affected areas. Music festivals, major events like the Olympics, yearly natural events such as the sakura blooming in Japan and other one-in-a-year trips had to be rescheduled for next year. Optimistic predictions suggest a recovery of the industry in a span from six to twelve months at least starting with domestic trips as travelers regain confidence in leaving home safely.
A Pause in Peruvian Growth
President Martin Vizcarra has recognized the huge effect of the pandemic in the Peruvian travel industry, representing about 5% of the GBP and employing roughly 10% of the population. All attractions included the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, the Nazca Lines, and the Amazon jungle remain closed.
As a vacation destination, Peru proudly states 94% of visitors’ satisfaction and it is the fastest-growing country in the South American travel industry. However, as of today, day number 21 in the lockdown stated since March 16, activities in the sector have been reduced to hotels at the service of returning Peruvians in a 2-week mandatory quarantine and occasional flights of repatriation. These flights also covered the situation of stranded tourists who are being repatriated in the last weeks.
Entrepreneurs know tourism has relative stability caused by political or social problems, natural disasters, and other unpredictable circumstances. This time, the Ministry of Economy has issued decrees allowing small and medium companies to obtain low-interest loans to overcome the shutdown of operations among other economical subsidies reaching about 12 points of the GBP. Local tourism organizations are having meetings aiming to create a plan to achieve a coordinated and quick comeback to the global travel scene.
Should I travel to Peru after the pandemic?
After weeks of isolation, you might crave being outdoors. However, you must have in mind your own health and safety. Peruvian tourism industry awaits the end of the current crisis to welcome travelers as cozily as always. We recommend you to stay home and wait until travel bans are lifted in your homeland and in Peru to start exploring the land of the Incas to the fullest.