Tourism being badly hit in 2020 due to the corona virus pandemic was something unexpected. Several countries in New Europe are heavily tourism reliant for earning foreign exchange, with Turkey and Croatia the most evident.
Tourism started to recover towards the end of last summer with lockdown restrictions being lifted, but suffered a second blow with the second wave of the pandemic.
Now the winter is over and the pandemic seems to be in recoiling as more and more countries embark on mass vaccination programmes. There is hope that tourism will become better with the arrival of warmer weather; however, the virus’ persistence and the lack of adequate vaccine supplies in many of the affected countries means that the recovery will be slow, said the Institute of International Finance (IIF).
“While the situation remains difficult for the tourism industry at this point, there appears to be some hope of recovery due to vaccination efforts gaining momentum and fewer (travel) restrictions being discussed for vaccinated individuals. However, we find that even a relatively fast rebound of tourism would leave many countries in a precarious position in 2021, both with respect to economic growth as well as external vulnerabilities,” said IIF economists Benjamin Hilgenstock and Elina Ribakova in their note.