COVID-19 pandemic cost Africa’s tourism industry over $50 billion

The AU Commissioner for infrastructure and energy has disclosed that African countries have lost almost $55billion in travel and tourism revenues in three months due to COVID-19.

Cape Coast Castle

The commissioner, Amani Abou-Zeid was speaking in an online news conference with the World Health Organisation held on Thursday (July 2, 2020).

He said that the economic effect of lockdowns and border closures by various African countries to curb the spread of the virus will be dire with the aviation, tourism, and hospitality industries being the hardest hit.

She explained that tourism and travel make up almost 10% of Africa’s GDP.

"We're talking here about almost 10% of the GDP of Africa comes from tourism and of course air travel is related to that.”

"But also we have 24 million Africans, which means 24 million African families whose livelihood is linked to travel and tourism.

"So, the impact is really severe and some estimates we're talking here about almost $55bn lost within three months."

She added that “the blow is very hard, between the economic losses and the job losses.”

Abou-Zeid explained that African airlines have seen a 95% drop in revenues, or about $8 billion, with other losses including the deterioration of assets.

“Some airlines in the continent will not make it post-COVID-19,” she said.

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