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Tourism Essay On Global Pandemic & SDGs


You are to write two tourism essays of 1,000 words each.

The tourism essay topics are:

  1. While considering the history of tourism, discuss the future of tourism regarding the current global pandemic.
  2. Discuss how tourism can contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.


Tourism Essay 1: Future of Tourism regarding the Current Global Pandemic
Tourism industry had achieved a prominent place the global economic development. Before the occurrence of Covid-19 pandemic, tourism had become one of the prime sectors of the world economy as a whole. It used to account for around 10% of overall global GDP and around 320 million jobs across the world. However, the global economy had to experience a dip in its tourism industry right from the beginning of Covid-19 era since the countries have adopted the lockdown approaches to contain the rapid spread of the virus.

As a matter of fact, in 1950, when the jet age was dawning only 25 million of people went for foreign trips whereas in 2019, the same number had hit 1.5 billion which strengthened the tourism industry across the world over the period of time. However, the Covid-19 pandemic has affected the tourism industry to a significant extent (International Monetary fund, 2020). The receipts from tourism sector are not expected to meet the level of 2019 until 2023. The nations that are heavily dependent on tourism are facing more repercussions of the global pandemic than the other nations in the world. Contact intensive services aligned to the tourism industry are impacted because of this pandemic quite disproportionately and are expected to continue to face the Covid-19 driven disruptions until the time people across the world start feeling safe to travel again (Haywood, 2020).

According to the research carried by IMF on the post pandemic state of tourism sector it is determined thatin 2020, first half of the year, the arrival of tourists has significantly fallen down by over 65% as compared to 8% at the time of financial crisis which occurred globally in 2008 and 17% during the SARS epidemic occurred in 2003. Further, as per the report of World Travel and Tourism Council, Covid-19 is estimated to cost the tourism sector approximately USD 22 billion apart from the loss of jobs around 50 million all across the world (Sharma, Thomas, & Paul, 2021).

In the nutshell, tourism industry has experienced the worst hit worldwide because of the widespread corona virus. The pandemic has severely affected even the sectors associated with tourism sector such as hospitality sector transportation sector like aviation, railways, ships and road transports. Also, the tourism sector is one of those sectors that are going to recover from the pandemic losses latest because of the travel restrictions that are being currently going on. Although, the domestic travel has now open but the international travel still faces various restrictions. This certainly has created more opportunities for the domestic tourism places in different countries to prosper more as people are not allowed to move out of their countries, at least in the short run.

The inception of vaccination drive has proved to a be great step to fight with the noble coronavirus and hence inculcated the hopes in the tourism industry as the people have started moving towards normal life. However, the challenges casted by the pandemic still remains there in the economy as the people are now well aware of what is good for them (Matiza, 2020). Despite of the fact that tourism industry across the world has experienced various shocks in its past and have proved to be quite resilient to such events, this time estimating the real time which tourism industry will take to recover is highly uncertain as the spread of corona virus has not completely left the world back.

Before the outbreak of Covid-19, tourism was more prominent in the places which were chosen by majority of tourists. However, after Covid-19, travelers will avoid visiting the highly crowded places as these places expose them to the fear of the virus again. Hence, for some time in future the travelers will be preferring those places to visit where it is easy for them to maintain social distancing norms (Sharma, Thomas, & Paul, 2021). This will demand the tour operators to be more conscious abouts such factors while designing the itineraries for their customers. In future it is also expected that people will choose the country or city for their tourism purpose based on the fact that how well that country or city has controlled the spread of coronavirus. Moreover, the bookings of the flights and other transportation mediums as well as the accommodation facilities will not be merely price driven but also the travelers will be more mindful than ever before about their hygiene standards i.e. whether the flights or the hotels are properly sanitized or not. The travelers may even prefer to solo or private transportation mediums or preferring to business class than the economy class (Brouder, Teoh, Salazar, Mostafanezhad, Pung, Lapointe & Clausen, 2020).

With the paradigm shift in the tourism industry because of Covid-19 in the short or medium term, it is also expected that leisure travel might return to its normal level in the years to come after combatting with the virus completely but the business travel would not regain the same pace as people have now become quite comfortable and easy working from remote locations and have found the ways to manage the things virtually using internet.

Although it is quite predictive that tourism industry will take time to recover from the repercussions of Covid-19 outbreak as it is one of those industries that have experience the huge hit on its growth and sustainability. The impact of covid-19 can be estimated on the tourism industry for some years to come but it is difficult to determine the actual state of tourism industry in the long run. With the vaccination campaigns across the world, people are getting back to normalcy with their own safety measures. However, the one thing that has gained a forever importance during these pandemic times is the concept of digitalization and the tourists can use the internet sources to research about the places they want to explore and the covid status of such places and can plan their journey accordingly.

Brouder, P., Teoh, S., Salazar, N. B., Mostafanezhad, M., Pung, J. M., Lapointe, D., ... & Clausen, H. B. (2020). Reflections and discussions: tourism matters in the new normal post COVID-19. Tourism Geographies, 22(3), 735-746.

Haywood, K. M. (2020). A post COVID-19 future-tourism re-imagined and re-enabled. Tourism Geographies, 22(3), 599-609.

International Monetary fund (2020). Retrieved from:

Matiza, T. (2020). Post-COVID-19 crisis travel behaviour: towards mitigating the effects of perceived risk. Tourism essay Journal of Tourism Futures.

Sharma, G. D., Thomas, A., & Paul, J. (2021). Reviving tourism industry post-COVID-19: A resilience-based framework. Tourism management perspectives, 37, 100786.

Contribution of Tourism Industry on Sustainable Development Goals

Tourism industry has become the key driver of economic growth of global economy as it contributes a considerable share to the overall GDP. It has now become to huge source of employment of millions of people across the world. In order to protect the tourism places from the inappropriate use, United Nation has developed Sustainable Development Goals in 2015 (Xiao, Mills, Guidi, Rodríguez-Gonzálvez, Barsanti, & González-Aguilera, 2018). The SDGs have the aim for the global development of economy by combatting the challenges like poverty, income or gender inequality, environmental changes etc. until 2030. There are 17 SDGs set to achieve sustainable tourism by 2030 (UNWTO, 2021). The contribution of tourism to these SDGs can be seen each goal-wise in following manner.

Goal 1: Ending poverty from everywhere
Tourism has become the fastest growing industry across the world and thereby contributing to overall growth and development of the economy as a whole. It has introduced to various employment options for the local people at different places which can help them earn their livelihood and generate income to combat the poverty. Also, the revenue generation out of tourism activities has enabled local government to promote small ventures and entrepreneurship which has empowered the youth and women.

Goal 2: Ending hunger and attaining food security by promoting nutrition and sustainable agriculture
Tourism has promoted agricultural productivity and local manufacturing by strengthening the value of local production, use and sale at the tourists’ places. Apart from this, agrotourism which has become the key segment of tourism industry provides a back to the conventional agricultural activities.

Goal 3: Promotion of people’ well-being and their healthy lives
The earnings generated from foreign or local tourism are reinvested in creation and strengthening of healthcare services and the well-being of people providing them hygienic infrastructures with proper medical facilities.

Goal 4: Equal education facilities and lifelong learning
For tourism to foster, it is important to have skilled workforce. Hence, the tourism sector can provide various incentives to utilize the money generated through tourism in the education of local people and their vocational training. Also, the tourism industry has the capability to strengthen inclusiveness, the cultural values like peace and non-violence.

Goal 5: Women and girl empowerment with gender equality
As tourism provide provides numerous job opportunities to the local people residing in tourist places. These employment opportunities have certainly benefited to the youth and the women as they find difficult to move to other developed cities in the search of employment. Such opportunities to generate income for themselves and their families empowers them and provides them equal rights as that of males in their society. They do not have to remain dependent on their family members for their basic needs.

Goal 6: Sustainable water management and ensuring its seamless availability
Tourism industry demands protection of natural resources to a great extent as people from all across the world visit the tourist places. The prudent use of water and maintaining all sanitation and hygiene facilities along with waste water management, pol¬¬lution control can drive the preservation of key natural resources.

Goal 7: Availability of cost effective and sustainable energy
Tourism can help in minimizing the emission of greenhouse gas, climate changes by promoting investments in these activities from the funds generated out of tourism receipts. It can support the move to renewable energy systems.

Goal 8: Promoting sustainable economic growth with proper employment facilities
As discussed above, tourism can help people across the world to generate good sources of income by finding different ways of employment like transportation, hospitality services, tourism guidance etc.

Goal 9: Creating resilient infrastructure, promoting sustainable industrialization and innovation
The tourism sector has provided incentives to the local governments to build a sustainable and reliable infrastructure and at the same time preserving the forests and deserts without destroying them for the purpose of bringing in industrialization (Siakwah, Musavengane, & Leonard,2020).

Goal 10: Reducing inequality among the countries
Tourism acts as a powerful medium for the community development and as a result reducing the inequalities among the countries as it involves the regional or local population and other stakeholders for its overall development. It gives the chance to the local communities to develop in their own regions also it allows engagement of developing countries in global economic development.

Goal 11: Making cities cleaner, safe and sustainable across the countries
As tourists only prefer to explore the places which are clear, safe and beautiful, tourism industry supports the cities to keep themselves as neat and clear. It promotes in greener investment that not only benefits the tourists but also create a healthy atmosphere for the local people.

Goal 12: Ensuring sustainable consumption and production
Tourism sector adopts the practices of sustainable consumption of natural resources and producing only sustainable output that serves the healthy economy.

Goal 13: Combatting climate changes and taking necessary actions
By reducing the consumption of energy per unit in accommodation centers and sources of transportation and increasing reliance on renewable sources of energy, tourism sector brings in huge support to address the rapidly changing climate and its severe impact.

Goal 14: Conservation of waterbodies like oceans, seas etc.
Preservation of the natural water beauties is of upmost importance for any coastal and maritime tourism sector. Hence, this helps in protecting these waterbodies.

Goal 15: Protecting and promoting sustainable management of forests, terrestrial ecosystems, combatting desertification and stopping losses caused to biodiversity and land degradation
Tourism is only promoted when the countries have something extraordinary to serve to the outsiders. Hence, it supports preservation of the nation’s natural resources for its value to remain intact.

Goal 16: Building and promoting peace societies for sustainable development:
Tourism brings in people from different places together, it promotes the involvement of diversified cultural values and by providing the people a chance to earn their livelihood it helps them to become more sensitive and understanding towards peaceful and non-violent societies (Saarinen, 2020).

Goal 17: Strengthening the sources and channels of implementation as well as global partnership for sustainable development
As tourism has the potential to bring together people from different corners of the world together, it has promoted people partnering together with each other either on private or public platforms. Also, it enables engaging stakeholders from different levels like international, national, local to achieve the sustainable development of the countries (Trupp, & Dolezal, 2020).

Tourism definitely creates both positive and negative impact on the local people of such places and the environment thereon. The core essence of the relation between tourism and economy’s sustainable development remains in the quality of production as well as consumption of services pertaining to tourism. As the consumption of tourism is done by people from different places i.e. the non-local people, it is important to create a sense of responsibility among those people (tourists and tourism operators) to protect those places from public damage in any form.

Saarinen, J. (Ed.). (2020). Tourism and sustainable development goals: Research on sustainable tourism geographies. Routledge.

Siakwah, P., Musavengane, R., & Leonard, L. (2020). Tourism governance and attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals in Africa. Tourism Planning & Development, 17(4), 355-383.

Trupp, A., & Dolezal, C. (2020). Tourism and the sustainable development goals in Southeast Asia. Austrian Journal of South-East Asian Studies, 13(1), 1-16.

UNWTO (2021). How Tourism can contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Retrieved from:

Xiao, W., Mills, J., Guidi, G., Rodríguez-Gonzálvez, P., Barsanti, S. G., & González-Aguilera, D. (2018). Geoinformatics for the conservation and promotion of cultural heritage in support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, 142, 389-406.


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