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The human cost as Covid wipes out tourism

© Good Travel Guide, August 2021

One out of ten jobs worldwide is related to tourism.. Quarantines, travel restrictions and fear of the virus have put a brake on tourism around the world, leading to dramatic consequences for workers making a living from their activities for tourists.

The hardest hit are developing countries in Asia, Africa or Central America where tourism represents one of the main pillars of the local economy and a major source of revenue for a poverty-stricken population. Many hotel staff, guesthouse owners, transportation providers or handicraft and souvenirs sellers have lost their jobs due to the drop in tourist arrivals. Businesses were forced to close putting huge pressure on families who relied on the income from tourists, forcing them to change profession, sometimes for agriculture, sometimes for manual work, representing a loss of their valuable knowledge about biodiversity.. Many inhabitants also had to leave their region to survive because they could not afford staying there anymore.

Beyond money, tourism is also a way to keep remote places feel “part of the world” but with coronavirus, no more tourists also meant isolating these remote regions. Solitude can therefore be a consequence as well with major psychological impacts for those dedicated to their visitors and who created special bonds and relationships with them.

All these people are now hoping for a rebound of tourism to start living again beyond surviving. Read more about the experiences of 4 locals in destinations in Asia, Central America and Africa in the Guardian.

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