The global tourism sector will close this year with losses worth $3 trillion due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Bulut Bagci, the head of the World Tourism Forum Institute, said.

Losses are expected to drop $1 trillion with the distribution of vaccines and new touristic regulations, he told the forum, organized virtually with high-level participation, including David Sassoli, the head of the European Parliament.

The three-day forum started on Friday and ended on Sunday.

The event, which hosted 175 speakers from over 30 countries, was also joined by 11 countries’ ministers, including Turkish Youth and Sports Minister Mehmet Muharrem Kasapoglu.

In 2022, global tourism is expected to recover losses and even to grow by 25% versus 2019, the pre-pandemic period, he expressed.

He noted that the World Tourism Forum Institute is active in several countries, and focusing on China recently.

Next year, the forum will be organized in Africa, then in the Middle East, Pakistan, and the US, he added.

Sassoli said tourism is the largest income source of Europe, constituting 9.5% of the EU GDP, while 11.2% of employment is in the tourism sector.

The EU should set new rules for tourism and travel based on needs and demands, he added.

* Writing by Gokhan Ergocun

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