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Full screen 1/51 SLIDES © Day2505 // Shutterstock Countries most dependent on tourism

When COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic, it put travelers around the world into a frenzy.

Those who were at home began working with airlines to cancel upcoming travel plans and try to guess a safe time to reschedule trips they’d paid for already. Travelers who were abroad scrambled to get a seat on one of the remaining flights home, before borders were closed and lockdowns were put in place. And once strict travel restrictions were implemented, many foreign tourists—including more than 13,000 Americans—were left stranded in their vacation destinations, unsure when or if they’d be able to get home safely.

As devastating as the pandemic has been on those who love to travel, it’s been far worse for countries that depend on a steady stream of visitors to bolster their economies and support local jobs. In fact, data from the World Economic Forum shows that around one in 10 people across the globe work in tourism, and the industry has been responsible for about a quarter of all net new jobs created worldwide between 2014 and 2019.

Popular tourism destinations have been hemorrhaging jobs and losing huge amounts of revenue while people are stuck at home. The United Nations World Tourism Organization has predicted that tourist numbers could plummet as much as 80% this year, while the World Travel & Tourism Council warned in June that more than 197 million jobs could vanish amid ongoing travel restrictions.

While most, if not all, countries will feel the effects of a decline in tourism in some way, tourism-dependent nations will inevitably fare the worst while the main driver of their economies is gone. To find the countries most reliant on tourism, Stacker consulted the World Bank’s TCdata360 database released in 2020. Countries were ranked based on tourism’s percentage of contribution to their GDP. Any country not a member of the United Nations was removed from the dataset. All monetary values are real U.S. dollars. Stacker also consulted local and international news agencies, reports from governments and authoritative organizations, and articles from travel publications to understand the impact that declining tourism rates are having on these vulnerable destinations.

Click through to learn more about how the most tourism-dependent countries are coping during the coronavirus.

You may also like: Strange laws to be aware of in the most popular countries for tourists

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Coronavirus Growth in Western Countries: September 24 Update

Here’s the coronavirus death toll through September 24. The raw data from Johns Hopkins is here.

Europe does not look good. France is obviously showing an upward spike after more than two months at zero, and both Italy and the UK are spiking upwards slightly too. Worst of all though, is that if you squint hard enough you’ll even see a teensy little spike in Germany. Germany! The star pupil of COVID-19 containment. Hopefully these are all just blips, but it doesn’t seem likely that everyone would blip at once just by coincidence.

Here in the United States, we continue to cruise along at about two deaths per million. The trendline bounces up and down a bit, but never really seems to change much. Since August we’ve averaged a pretty steady 800-900 deaths per day from COVID-19.

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