Topic updates

Coronavirus update: Tourist-dependent countries hit hard by the global pandemic

Geoff Riley

28th July 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has shown how hard some countries have been hit by a collapse in overseas tourist travel.

Mexico, Spain and Italy are ranked as the three nations most exposed to this negative demand shock.

Travel and tourism contributed 14.3 and 13.0 percent, respectively, to Spain’s and Italy’s GDP last year, including direct contributions from hotels, travel agents, airlines and restaurants.

That figure is even higher for Mexico with travel and tourism accounting for nearly 16 per cent of their GDP.

The comparable figure for the UK is 9 per cent but in all of these countries, hundreds of thousands of jobs are at stake and these sectors provide a hugely significant contribution to the current account of their balance of payments as well as a really important source of government tax revenues.

Many developing / emerging countries are also tourism dependent. In some South Asian nations, tourism contributes (directly and indirectly) up to 30 per cent of the economy.

Geoff Riley

Geoff Riley FRSA has been teaching Economics for over thirty years. He has over twenty years experience as Head of Economics at leading schools. He writes extensively and is a contributor and presenter on CPD conferences in the UK and overseas.

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