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How much will economies lose to tourism because of the pandemic?

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Tourism is expected to impact global economies.

A new report has revealed the economic costs from a plunge in tourism since the pandemic.

The UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has revealed COVID-19 could place a $4 trillion hole in the world’s economy.

The report found the pandemic’s impact will lead to a ripple effect on other sectors closely linked to it.

The UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili says vaccinations are a key part of the world’s post-COVID success.

“Tourism is a lifeline for millions, and advancing vaccination to protect communities and support tourism’s safe restart is critical to the recovery of jobs and generation of much-needed resources, especially in developing countries, many of which are highly dependent on international tourism.”

The report assesses the economic impacts of three possible scenarios, which all reflect reductions in international arrivals.

Reduction in international travel

The first scenario reflects a 75 percent reduction in international tourist arrivals – the most pessimistic forecast. It is based on tourist reductions and trends faced last year.

For example, tourism makes up five percent of Turkey’s GDP. But the nation experienced a 69 percent fall in international tourists in 2020.

This fall is estimated to cost $33 billion, which has led to other cross-sector losses in hospitality, communications and transport.

In the second scenario, UNWTO examines a 63 percent reduction in tourist arrivals. Then, domestic and regional tourism is considered in the third scenario.

Vaccinations drive tourism

Experts are also concerned about the varying vaccination rates around the world, and how they will impact international travel.

The report discusses the “asymmetric roll-out of vaccines”, and how it “magnifies the economic blow tourism has suffered in developing countries”. Vaccine rates vary from 1 to 60 percent between some countries.

Isabelle Durant is the Acting Secretary-General of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). She says the world needs to push for global vaccination.

“The world needs a global vaccination effort that will protect workers, mitigate adverse social effects and make strategic decisions regarding tourism, taking potential structural changes into account.”

Experts do not expect a return to pre-COVID travel until 2023, or later. They believe travel restrictions, slow containment of COVID-19, poor economic opportunities, and low traveller confidence are among the reasons for the delay.

Costa is a news producer at ticker NEWS. He has previously worked as a regional journalist at the Southern Highlands Express newspaper. He also has several years' experience in the fire and emergency services sector, where he has worked with researchers, policymakers and local communities. He has also worked at the Seven Network during their Olympic Games coverage and in the ABC Melbourne newsroom. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts (Professional), with expertise in journalism, politics and international relations. His other interests include colonial legacies in the Pacific, counter-terrorism, aviation and travel.

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Julian Assange’s last stand before extradition

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Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, is allegedly being targeted by the United States government and former President Donald Trump for his role in exposing classified information.

According to Assange’s lawyer, this targeting is a result of the controversial revelations made by WikiLeaks, which have often put the U.S. government in a precarious position.

Assange, who has been residing in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London to avoid extradition, now faces renewed concerns about his safety and legal battles.

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Qantas appoints new Chairman amid board renewal

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Qantas Airways has announced significant changes to its board, including the appointment of John Mullen as the new chairman, as part of its ongoing renewal strategy following a tumultuous period for the airline.

John Mullen, former chairman of Telstra, will assume the role of chairman of Qantas’ board, succeeding Richard Goyder.

John Mullen, former chairman of Telstra.

Mullen will officially join the board as a non-executive director and chairman-elect on July 1, with plans to take on the chairman’s responsibilities ahead of the company’s annual general meeting in October.

In addition to Mullen’s appointment, Dr. Nora Scheinkestel will also join the board as a non-executive director and chair of the remuneration committee effective March 1, 2024.

Read more – how to land a job at Cathay Pacific

Richard Goyder, outgoing chairman of Qantas, remarked that these changes mark a new chapter for the airline following a period of significant challenges, including the early resignation of former CEO Alan Joyce and Goyder’s own decision to step down.

Goyder expressed confidence in Mullen’s ability to lead Qantas into its next phase, citing Mullen’s extensive experience as a director and chairman of large and complex companies, as well as his distinguished executive career in the transport sector both domestically and internationally.

“These changes reflect a new chapter for Qantas, and John brings a wealth of experience that makes him the right choice to lead the national carrier into its next phase,” stated Goyder.

The announcement comes amidst ongoing efforts by Qantas to navigate the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and reshape its operations to adapt to changing market dynamics.

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Google goes rogue as search engine falls short?

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In the digital era, where instant access to information is the norm, Google has emerged as the go-to source for swift answers. However, a recent study has raised a cautionary flag, suggesting that the top search result on Google may not always be the most reliable or accurate.

Dr. Karen Sutherland from USC sheds light on the factors influencing Google search result rankings, emphasizing the importance of users exercising caution to avoid being misled by potentially inaccurate information. The interview explores the role of search engine optimization (SEO) in determining rankings, questions the reliability of the top search result as an indicator of accuracy, and delves into strategies for increasing awareness about the limitations of search engines. As we navigate the vast digital landscape, a critical eye and awareness are essential tools to discern the accuracy of the information provided by the seemingly omnipotent search engine.

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