The COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage across the world. Even though much of the attention has been paid to the very real public health emergency it has created, there is also an economic crisis that is following in its footsteps. Because of the pandemic, many parts of the world are forced to shut down completely. Essentially, people were forced to hide inside of their homes as the virus continued to rage and take the lives of family members and friends. As a result, small businesses were hurting, forcing them to lay off countless employees. As a result, not only are small businesses struggling but many individuals and families are struggling to make ends meet as well. One of the industries that has been hit the hardest is the tourism sector. What kind of impact has the pandemic had on tourism across the world?
Many countries ended up closing their borders as soon as the pandemic started. The first reported cases of the virus were in the winter of 2019. There were reports that a mysterious virus was causing serious respiratory symptoms and people throughout China. It was only a matter of time before the virus escaped China and spread to other parts of the world. As a result, many countries try to pre-empt the virus by closing their borders. As a result, this also brought international tourism to a halt. Some parts of the world have been hit harder than others. For example, many smaller countries that depend almost exclusively on tourism to prop up their economies have been devastated.
One prime example of this is Israel. Israel is a small country in the Middle East that depends on people migrating there both for secular and religious tourism reasons. As one of the hot regions in the world for religious tourism, its economy started to crumble. There were photographs published of Ben Gurion International Airport looking like every day was Yom Kippur. Even though many industries have started to reopen, tourism remains suspect. Because many countries are reluctant to start traveling while other countries continue to struggle to get the pandemic under control, tourism continues to falter.
It is important to note that there are many countries that depend on tourism to keep them afloat. If the pandemic is not controlled soon and if countries are not willing to reopen their borders, there are many large tourism sectors throughout the world that may never reopen. This could result in not only billions of dollars lost by these countries that depend on them but also countless jobs lost as well. This could have an irreparable impact on many people’s quality of life.