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Tourism’s Contribution to South Korea’s GDP Dropped by USD33,3 Billion in 2020

The World Travel & Tourism Council’s annual Economic Impact Report (EIR) recently revealed the dramatic impact COVID-19 had on South Korea’s travel and tourism sector, wiping out USD33,3 billion from the nation’s economy.

The annual EIR from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) which represents the global travel and tourism private sector, shows the sector’s contribution to GDP dropped a staggering 45,5 percent.

Travel and tourism’s impact on the nation’s GDP fell from USDD73,2 billion (4,4 percent) in 2019, to USD39.9 billion (2,4 percent), just 12 months later, in 2020.

The year of damaging travel restrictions which brought much of international travel to a grinding halt, resulted in the loss of 84,000 travel and tourism jobs across the country.

However, this number, while devastating to those affected, is much lower than many other countries globally and within the region.

WTTC believes the true picture could have been significantly worse, if not for the government’s job retention scheme, the Universal Employment Insurance Roadmap, and the emergency relief stimulus payments, all of which offered a lifeline to thousands of businesses and workers.

These job losses were felt across the entire travel and tourism ecosystem in the country, with SMEs, which make up eight out of 10 of all global businesses in the sector, particularly affected.