The Impact of the SARS-CoV-2 Virus Epidemic on the Tourism Economy- Negative Effects and Projection of Changes in Tourism Trends
Purpose: The study is aimed to determine the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic on Europe’s tourism economy and the world. An attempt was made to determine how deeply tourism as an industry branch is exposed to the negative effects of the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and the extent to which the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic will contribute changes in tourism trends, and if so, what the changes will be. Design/Methodology/Approach: The research used the method of analysis of secondary data sources, among others, IMF, OECD, UN WTO, WT&TC, Eurostat. The method of comparative analysis and observation was also used. Findings: The research shows that the tourism economy in Europe and worldwide has been affected by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus pandemic. There were significant drops in the number of tourists using overnight stays and the number of overnight stays in March-August 2020 compared to the corresponding period of 2019. The second wave of COVID-19 cases will cause further losses in the tourism industry and related to it. Making up for the losses will be a long process, and it should be expected that it will take years to come. Practical Implications: It is expected that the COVID-19 pandemic will change the trends in spending leisure time by tourists, which will mean a departure from mass tourism, where it is difficult to keep distance on beaches and in cities — resorts attractive for sightseeing. But there will be an increase in the demand for tourism in social distance, performed individually, in small groups, active, close to nature, with accommodation in guesthouses, small hotels, and in caravaning, etc. Originality/Value: The analysis of the impact of the SARS-CoV-2 virus pandemic on the tourism economy is a new and current research problem. Characteristics of changing trends in rest under the pressure of COVID-19 disease may be useful in organizing tourist services during the SARS-CoV-2 virus pandemic and during subsequent epidemics or viral pandemics.