Overseas tourism won't rebound until 2023 - UN

Many of the world’s most iconic sites are still standing empty.

A U.N. study has found that international tourism arrivals are set to stagnate this year, with the sector not expected to rebound until 2023.

That will cause up to $2.4 trillion in further global losses for the tourism sector.

Zoritsa Urosevic is from the UN World Tourism Organization:

'We are currently, in international tourism, we are at levels of 30 years ago, so basically, we are in the years 80s, so not much crowd. The problem that we are mainly facing is that many livelihoods are really at threat.''

The U.N. says tourism provides a lifeline to many countries, especially jobs in small island states.

In 2020, international arrivals plunged by 73% from pre-pandemic levels.

While domestic travel is expected to do well in Western markets, COVID-19 vaccination and certificates are key to restoring confidence in foreign tourism.

Sandra Carvao is chief of market intelligence and competitiveness at the World Tourism Organization.

''We all know there is an issue of the recognition of the vaccination certificates, and this is an important point that needs also to be addressed. And the second point is, we do see positive signs of the U.S. towards Europe, there is interest, obviously again, this will very much depend on if Europe starts allowing U.S. travellers back.''

Carvao says that it would be a "very diverse recovery", varying by country and by region.

On Thursday the European Union's digital COVID-19 certificate is due to come into force. One small step to getting travel back on track.

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