a) The closure of the borders globally had a negative impact to international travel in every country or tourist destination around the world. According to the latest data from the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), global tourism suffered its worst year on record in 2020, with international arrivals dropping by 74%. Destinations worldwide welcomed 1 billion fewer international arrivals in 2020 than in the previous year, due to an unprecedented fall in demand and widespread travel restrictions.
According Statistics South Africa, in 2020, the volume of tourists decreased by 72.6% from 10.2 million in 2019 to 2.8 million in 2020. The distribution of tourists by region of residence shows that 74.8% of the tourists who arrived in South Africa in 2020 were residents of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries and 1.5% were from ‘other’ African countries. It is therefore, evident the impact of restrictions on international was consistent with global impact of the decline in travel.
b) See (a)
c) The devastating impact of the pandemic is a global phenomenon and no country or tourist destination was spared from this disruption. It therefore stands to reason that countries around the world need to work together to reopen international travel so that the sector can embark on a sustainable road to recovery.