COVID-19 and tourism statistics

COVID-19 and tourism statistics


Conceptual Guidance on Tourism Statistics in the COVID-19 Context 

With new situations emerging from the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, some clarifications need to be made to the UN statistical standards on tourism to maintain as far as possible data consistency and international comparability.

The publication Conceptual Guidance on Tourism Statistics in the COVID-19 Context provides conceptual guidance on the main tourism data and indicators of the UNWTO’s statistical database related to new situations arisen in the context of the COVID-19 crisis.

It serves as a reminder of the main concepts and definitions of the International Recommendations for Tourism Statistics 2008 and provides further guidance on the treatment of special cases, such as quarantine stays, COVID-related expenditure, patients and health workers, activity changes in the tourism industries etc.

This conceptual guidance note is the result of a consultation process within the UNWTO Committee on Statistics, the United Nations task team on Business Dynamics, Demography and Entrepreneurship, some international organizations and additional countries.


How COVID-19 is changing the world: a statistical perspective

Throughout the current crisis, the international statistics community has continued to work together, in partnership with national statistical offices and systems around the world to ensure that the best quality data and statistics are available to support decision making during and after the crisis. The report How COVID-19 is changing the world: a statistical perspective- compiled jointly by 36 international organizations including UNWTO, under the aegis of the Committee for the Coordination of Statistical Activities (CCSA) - gives a small flavor of that cooperation.

It provides a snapshot of some of the latest information available on how COVID-19 is affecting different aspects of public and private life, from economic and environmental fluctuations to changes that affect individuals in terms of income, education, employment and changes affecting public services such as civil aviation and postal services. It also puts a spotlight on the affects for some sub-population groups like women and children as well as geographical regions.

UNWTO contributed a chapter on the effects that this unprecedented crisis is having on the tourism sector.

Released on May 2020.



The report How COVID-19 is changing the world: a statistical perspective - Volume II provides an updated snapshot of some of the latest information available on how COVID-19 is affecting the world across multiple domains.

UNWTO contributed a chapter on the impact of COVID-19 on tourism statistics such as data collection challenges and new data needs.  

Released on September 2020.