Brasilia: The Brazilian tourism sector lost 261.3 billion reals ($48 billion) last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, authorities announced.
In a report issued on Thursday, the National Confederation of Commerce, Goods, Service and Tourism (CNC) said that the figure represented the period between March and December 2020, reports Xinhua news agency.
Taking into account the entire 2020, the losses totalled to about $51 billion.
“It is a huge toll, and recovery will probably take until 2022 or 2023. We have already seen some recovery in trade and agribusiness, but not in the service sector,” CNC economist Fabio Bentes was quoted as saying in the report.
The pandemic also caused the loss of 397,100 formal jobs in Brazil’s service sector, a 13 per cent reduction compared to 2019 and the largest job loss among all sectors of the Brazilian economy.
For 2021, the CNC projects a contraction of 9.7 per cent in the Brazilian tourism sector.
In terms of tourist arrivals, Brazil is considered to be the top travel destination in South America after Argentina and third in Latin America after Mexico and Argentina.