Tourism is the world’s third largest industry. But that was before the COVID-19 pandemic brought it to a screeching halt.
Border shutdowns and restrictions have shown just how many jobs are dependent on foreign visitors.
It’s not just airlines and tourism companies but also hotels, cafes, and businesses all depenfdent on bustling travel seasons.
That’s been especially hard for Europe, the world’s number one travel-destination in years past. Tourism once created a surplus for the European Union’s budget.
But with full coffers has come growing tension across Europe: Higher living costs, gentrification and frustrations for locals in many cities.
Will tourism ever bounce back to its pre-pandemic highs? And could this extended coronavirus “off season” be an opportunity to rethink travel and tourism for the future?