Domestic Tourism Can Help Drive Economic Recovery In Destinations Worldwide, Says UNWTO

by Yinka Akanbi

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has said that the readiness of domestic tourism to return faster than international travel represents an opportunity for countries to recover from the social and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This was contained in the agency’s third Tourism and COVID-19 Briefing Note titled: ‘Understanding Domestic Tourism and Seizing its Opportunities’.

According to the note, destinations around the world are taking proactive steps to grow domestic tourism, from offering bonus holidays for workers to providing vouchers and other incentives to people travelling in their own countries.

“UNWTO expects domestic tourism to return faster and stronger than international travel. Given the size of domestic tourism, this will help many destinations recover from the economic impacts of the pandemic, while at the same time safeguarding jobs, protecting livelihoods and allowing the social benefits tourism offers to also return,” said UNWTO Secretary-General, Zurab Pololikashvili.

The briefing note also noted that, in most destinations, domestic tourism generates higher revenues than international tourism.

“In OECD nations, domestic tourism accounts for 75% of total tourism expenditure, while in the European Union, domestic tourism expenditure is 1.8 times higher than inbound tourism expenditure.

“Globally, the largest domestic tourism markets in terms of expenditure are the United States with nearly US$ 1 trillion, Germany with US$ 249 billion, Japan US$ 201 billion, the United Kingdom with US$ 154 billion and Mexico with US$ 139 billion,” it stated.

The global tourism body also reports that given the value of domestic tourism and current trends, increasing numbers of countries are taking steps to grow their markets, citing case studies of initiatives in Italy, Malaysia, Costa Rica, France, Argentina and Thailand.

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