The Travel and Tourism Industry During The Covid19 (Coronavirus) Epidemic
Just like many other countries around the world, the Nigerian government recently imposed sweeping travel bans to stem the spread of coronavirus within their borders and beyond. Experiencing Naija has taken time to analyze how coronavirus could affect the Nigerian travel and tourism industry.
Before the Covid19 Epidemic
The travel and tourism industry has been a major contributor to many global economies ($2.9 trillion to global GDP in 2019 alone). The major worry for many countries, in a pre-coronavirus world, is that extreme numbers of visitors might not be sustainable. Our interconnectedness and ability to learn about different countries through social media, viral videos or various forms of media have created an inflow of tourism in the past. This impulsive flow was vulnerable to a global scale disturbance – a point of contention for many industry experts.
Last week, Nigeria just like other Nations limited non-essential travel across its borders. The United States raised its global travel warning for Americans to the highest level, advising citizens to avoid all international travel. Also, the European Council banned non-essential travel to the European Union last week for 30 days likewise the United Kingdom’s Foreign Office. Many other nations have banned certain arrivals, closed borders or suspended visas. It is, therefore, no secret that the Coronavirus epidemic will affect global tourism.
The coronavirus epidemic is putting up to 3.4 million jobs in the Nigerian travel and tourism sector at risk. With travel likely to slump this year, the epidemic will affect tourist visits, which stood at over 5.2 million. This impact would depend on how long the epidemic lasts and could be intensified by recent restrictive measures. According to CEICData.com, Nigeria’s Tourism Revenue reached $2 billion (NGN730 billion) in Dec 2018 compared to $3 billion (1,095 Billion) the previous year.
Statistics from WTTC
According to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) – These are the potential jobs effect of COVID-19 (Coronavirus):
- Up to 50 million jobs at risk globally representing a reduction in jobs of 12-14%. Keep in mind that the tourism industry accounts for 10% of the world GDP and jobs.
- International travel could be adversely impacted by up to 25% in 2020 alone, equivalent to a loss of 3 months of travel.
What You Can Do About It
- DON’T Panic
- Postpone all travel plans, but do not cancel
- Consider purchasing vouchers or gift cards for future hospitality visits when social distancing is not the manner.
- Do not lose your curiosity and desire to Experience Nigeria, to learn about her culture, people and places even if you have to explore from the comfort of your home for now.
- You can still experience Nigeria through articles on travel destinations that you would like to visit in the future.
- The travel and tourism sector is large. Be mindful of the sectors within the tourism industry that rely on patronage for success. These include Transportation, Accommodation, Food and Beverage, Entertainment, and Connected Industries (travel agents, tour operators, etc.).
- Consider a no-contact drop-off delivery from local restaurants and businesses and remember to tip well.
- Stay informed, as the news changes regularly, by checking in with a trusted source like the National Center for Disease Control (NCDC) and the World Health Organization.
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