International

Africa ‘lost $50bn in tourism money because of virus’

The African Union is warning that the coronavirus pandemic is having a devastating effect on Africa’s tourism industry.

It says more than $50bn (£40bn) in revenue was lost to the continent in just three months, and some airlines may not survive.

AU commissioner Amani Abou-Zeid told an online news conference with the World Health Organization that tourism was a key sector and was being badly hit.

“We’re talking here about almost 10% of the GDP of Africa comes from tourism and of course air travel is related to that.

“But also we have 24 million Africans, which means 24 million African families whose livelihood is linked to travel and tourism.

“So the impact is really severe and some estimates we’re talking here about almost $55bn lost within three months.”