Projections about the economic impact from Covid-19 are grim, but one new report has a silver lining.

Oxford Economics says that while the world is likely sinking into a global recession that will result in a more than 10% drop in international travel, the recovery should be fast.

“Once the situation has stabilized, we expect a rapid recovery since travel demand has proven resilient in bouncing back from downturns in the past,” the research firm said. “Travel levels are expected to fully recover by 2023.”

Oxford says the U.S. is already in recession. It anticipates 1 million layoffs and a total loss to the U.S. gross national product (GNP) of $350 billion.

“Attention is understandably focused on limiting the damage from the short-term effects of the coronavirus outbreak. But it’s likely that once disruption and uncertainty fade, the rebound in global economic activity will be strong,” Oxford Economics said. “It’s important for firms to position themselves for such a recovery.”

The group said historical evidence supports its analysis, noting that over the last 200 years, short recessions have typically been followed by robust recovery.

“Long-term impacts from natural disasters have generally only been evident for specific hazards,” Oxford said. “With the notable exception of AIDS, longer-term pandemic effects also appear to have been contained.

As with other economic impact reports, the group noted that travel bans and other mandates to prevent the spread of the virus will impact the travel and tourism industries most heavily. “An unprecedented fall in global travel is now likely in 2020,” Oxford said.

Asia-Pacific will be the hardest hit region, with a 15.4% decline in visitor arrivals for 2020, Oxford forecasted. That’s 55 million fewer arrivals than 2019. European inbound travel is forecast to decline 9.7% in 2020 -- 72 million fewer visitors than last year. And travel to North America is expected to decline 10.9% in 2020, for an expected loss of 16 million visitors.


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