UNWTO expects a “slow” recovery for tourism in the form of the Nike logo

The executive director of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Manuel Butler Halter, has indicated that the recovery of the tourism sector will be “slow” and it will have a shape “similar” to the Nike sports brand logo.

“The international demand for tourism travel is going to reduce by 2020 almost 60% and obviously it is going to continue further because the recovery will not be in a ‘V’, it will not be immediate, but it will be slow, more similar to the figure of the Nike logo, “Butler predicted in the Commission of Industry, Commerce and Tourism held this Friday in the Congress of Deputies.

During his intervention, Butler has reviewed the studies published by the UNWTO in recent months, which show that the Covid-19 pandemic has caused a 22% drop in the arrival of international tourists in the first quarter of 2020, a figure that could plummet between 60% and 80% in the year as a whole.

The balance of the first quarter made by the international organization translates into 67 million fewer international tourists until March and a loss of 80,000 million dollars (74,168.80 million euros).

Current scenarios point to a possible decline in arrivals this year of between 58%, in the most optimistic scenario with the relaxation of travel restrictions in early July, and 78%, in the event that they are extended to December.

“Complicated” summer

“Within the gravity of the situation, we are approaching the optimistic scenario,” Butler said, although has predicted that summer “will be difficult”, especially for tourism sectors such as urban and events and congresses.

By contrast, the UNWTO Executive Director has ensured that the least affected sector will be the national, while the rural will experience “a flourishing” although it does not have the accommodation capacity of “sun and beach” vacation tourism.

In this sense, from the OMT they have remarked that the sector faces a «change of cycle» marked by digitization and sustainability, which has been driven by the health crisis.


Among the 23 recommendations published by the agency, the manager highlighted those referring to maintaining employment by lengthening the ERTE over time “as much as possible”, support self-employed workers, ensure liquidity, promote skills development and review travel, tourism-related taxes, fees and regulations.

Further, urges to accelerate recovery with financial stimuli, with favorable fiscal policies, lifting of travel restrictions as soon as the health emergency allows, easing of the visa regime, promoting marketing and consumer confidence, among other measures.

On the other hand, from the OMT they have recommended that public and private administrations prepare “for tomorrow”Emphasizing tourism’s ability to lead growth at the local and national levels. In this regard, they urge that preparedness plans be developed and that they use this opportunity to transition to the circular economy.