World

a decision with “dramatic consequences for the entire tourism industry”

The American president announced it overnight. From Friday it suspends all travel from Europe to the United States.

Donald Trump suspends all travel from Europe to the US for a month to stem the coronavirus epidemic. Didier Arino, director general of the cabinet Protourisme, judged Thursday March 12 on Franceinfo the American decision “disturbing”. He could have, according to him, “dramatic consequences for the entire tourism industry” in the world.

>> The United States closes their borders to Europeans for a period of 30 days, follow our live on the coronavirus epidemic.

franceinfo: How do you react to the American decision?

This is unheard of. It is extremely worrying. This shows that there is a panic in the American government. Tourism in the United States is close to $ 200 billion in economic spinoffs, it's three and a half times the revenue we have in France from foreign customers. This means that the United States, alone in terms of tourism receipts from foreigners to their country, is much more than France, Spain and Italy, which are three of the five countries with the most strong attendance in the world in terms of tourism. We can clearly see that we are entering a completely worrying sphere with dramatic consequences for the entire tourist industry, but also for air transport, which was already relatively in poor condition with an announced loss of airlines closely of $ 100 billion. The impact will be quite considerable on the entire tourist chain.

At the World level ?

Yes, globally. First, an impact for the United States, which is still the nation with the most tourist spinoffs from foreigners' spending in their country, for the French sector and for Europe in general. You have to see that in the top five countries in the world in terms of tourist flows, there are France, Spain, China, the United States and Italy. And so, these are the five countries that are visibly affected, with a very sharp decrease in flows. So the consequences will be considerable with hundreds of thousands of jobs that will be affected. Hopefully this ban can be limited in time.

The tourism sector has, let us remember, 10% of jobs in the world, 10% of the GDP. And if there is a 20% decrease in world tourism, the impact will be 0.2% on world GDP. Didier Arino, director general of Protourismeat franceinfo

Tourism in France is 2 million between salaried and non-salaried jobs. In Île-de-France, almost one in four jobs, one in five jobs is linked to tourism, to the tourist chain. Whether in terms of transport, accommodation, catering, receptive. So we see that the tourism sector is fundamental to the economy.

Could the tourism sector be permanently affected?

It will hurt a sector that was doing pretty well because global growth has been, in part, driven by tourism, with the Chinese already spending $ 250 billion. Americans, $ 200 billion in spending. It is an extremely heavy sector and a strong provider of jobs. For now, the consequences were dramatic for countries like Cambodia, like Thailand. It seemed extremely far away, but it is getting closer. Fortunately, France also strongly depends on French and European tourism. Remember that last year, it was the French who saved the tourist season.

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