BY TAVAKE SIMON HANA’AROA
THE Asia and Pacific region will bear the brunt of the drop in travel due to the global spread of the virus, Turbo News reports.
It is said that 4% of the global tourism industry expected to shrink in 2020.
With the emergence of the coronavirus COVID-19 in January 2020, it is still very early to confidently predict the impact it will have on the tourism sector over the coming year.
Based on current research, and the assumption that the COVID-19 virus will continue to spread and peak by April this year, it is estimated that there will be a 4% drop in the number of international tourist arrivals worldwide in 2020.
For the Solomon Islands, as the potential sector the country could count to for the economic growth replacing logging and mining, the damage this coronavirus may cause to the tourism sector is unprecedented.
Reports cited from Solomon Star on the 10 of March 2020, Chief Executive Director of Tourism Solomon Josefa Tuamoto also warned of the impacts the COVID-19 would do to the tourism sector.
“As you must have heard and read from overseas media everyone will be impacted however the extent of the impact will vary by country.
“It will cause unprecedented damage to tourism businesses,” the Solomon Star reported.
However, as the current outbreak of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) continues to develop, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) are committed to working together in guiding the travel and tourism sectors’ response to COVID-19.