3 charts show how coronavirus is affecting the travel industry

Early data show airlines and hotels suffering massive job and revenue losses due to the pandemic.

With data changing as quickly as COVID-19 spreads, taking a snapshot of the travel industry’s losses is difficult. These graphs offer a glimpse of how revenue losses as a result of the pandemic have hobbled an $8 trillion industry that supports more than one billion trips each year.

As the global lockdown continues into the spring and summer—peak travel and spending seasons—the airline industry stands to lose the most; current estimates put that loss at more than $250 billion.

Hotels are in trouble, as well, with millions in jobs and revenue disappearing overnight.

The $2 trillion stimulus package Congress passed on March 25 could stem some of the economic damage. (Just how hard will this pandemic hit the travel industry?)

But there is a glimmer of hope: China, the epicenter of the virus, is already seeing an uptick in domestic travel and hotel occupancy.

A sign of things to come for the U.S.? Perhaps, though economists warn it may be a long time before the travel industry will see blue skies again.

Anne Kim-Dannibale is a senior editor on the travel desk at National Geographic. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter.

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