2021 tourism revenues less than half of pre-pandemic levels 1

2021 tourism revenues less than half of pre-pandemic levels

  • The COVID-19 pandemic triggered the biggest market contraction in history.
  • Lockdown rules to curb the spread of the virus, led to thousands of canceled vacations, and closed hotels.
  • The total revenue losses the travel and tourism market is expected to witness this year are colossal.

The countries across the globe have started preparing for summer 2021 early at the beginning of the year to revive travel to their territory and enable tourists to visit safely.

2021 tourism revenues less than half of pre-pandemic levels

Total lockdowns in the first months of 2021, increased testing capacity, and even complete bans on non-essential arrivals, especially from countries with virus mutations, have all been parts of these efforts. However, it still wasn’t enough to stop mounting losses caused by the pandemic’s direct impact on tourism and other sectors closely linked to it.


According to the latest industry data, the global travel and tourism revenues are projected to reach only $385 billion in 2021, less than half pre-COVID-19 levels.

Cruise and Hotel Industry the Worst Hit, Combined Revenues Plunged by $258 billion

The COVID-19 triggered the biggest market contraction in history, as countries across the globe imposed lockdown rules to curb the spread of the virus, leading to thousands of canceled vacations, and closed hotels. Although many of them lifted off travel restrictions and reopened for the 2021 summer season, the total revenue losses this market is expected to witness this year are still colossal.

In 2020, the revenues of the entire sector plummeted by nearly 60% YoY to $298.5 billion, revealed the latest data. Although this figure is expected to grow by almost 30% to $385.8 billion in 2021, that is still $351 billion less than before the pandemic struck.


The cruise industry remains the worst-hit sector of the global travel and tourism market. In 2021, the global cruise revenues are set to reach only $6.6 billion, or 76% less than in 2019. The hotel industry follows with a $132.3 billion in revenue and 64% drop in two years. Although millions of tourists decided to go on a vacation in the 2021 season, statistics show the combined revenues of the two sectors will remain $258 billion below the pre-pandemic levels.


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