East Africa’s tourism sector lost more than $4.8 billion and 2 million jobs in 2020 amid COVID-19 curbs, according to a report released Wednesday.
The tourism sector contributes about 10% to East Africa Community (EAC) partner states’ gross domestic product (GDP) and accounts for 17% of export earnings and about 7% in terms of jobs, according to official data
The report by the East African Business Council (EABC), a bloc of private businesspeople in the region, showed that 4.2 million foreign tourists were not able to travel to their preferred East Africa Community destinations.
Ridded with uncertainty, the impact was felt across affiliated industries and other sectors of the economy.
“It is estimated that tourism jobs in the region dropped from about 4.1 million to 2.2 million,” said EABC chief executive officer John Bosco Kalisa.
“Visitors to national parks declined significantly by about 65% and, therefore, negatively affected wildlife conservation efforts in the region.”
The majority of the tourists originate from Europe, the U.S. and parts of Asia.