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A tourist in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris on Nov. 25. Photo:Chesnot/Getty Images

A new United Nations report warns that global tourism will see only modest revenue gains in 2021 after last year's historic losses amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Why it matters: Tourism revenues in 2020 fell by more than half from the previous year — a significant blow to the global economy, according to an analysis by the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.
  • Tourism was the sector most affected by the pandemic, per the report, which was published Monday.

By the numbers: The UNWTO estimates 2021 global tourism revenue will amount to $1.9 trillion — a modest bump from 2020's low of $1.6 trillion.

  • Before the pandemic, 2019's global tourism revenue clocked in at $3.5 trillion, or 4% of world GDP.
  • The UN finds the drop in tourism is responsible for 70% of the total drop in world GDp last year.
  • In all, the pandemic will likely cost the global tourism sector $2 trillion in lost revenue in 2021, according to the UNWTO.

What they're saying: UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said in a statement Monday that data for the third quarter of 2021 was "encouraging."

  • But Pololikashvili noted that arrivals were still 76% below pre-pandemic levels "and results across the different global regions remain uneven."

What to watch: Governments are increasingly concerned about the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, as they seek to reopen economies stalled by nearly two years of pandemic restrictions.

  • Pololikashvili noted that with cases rising and the emergence of new variants, there needed to be continued "efforts to ensure equal access to vaccinations, coordinate travel procedures, make use of digital vaccination certificates to facilitate mobility, and continue to support the sector."

Go deeper: Borders are back

Go deeper

Jan 15, 2022 - Health

Experts warn of more COVID-19 variants after Omicron

Three COVID-19 testing companies place testing locations outside Grand Central Terminal on Jan. 14 in New York City. Photo: Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Experts are warning that subsequent COVID-19 variants are likely to come after Omicron, AP reports.

Why it matters: The warnings come as there's no guarantee that subsequent variants "will cause milder illness or that existing vaccines will work against them," underscoring the need for widespread vaccination, AP writes.

Updated 8 mins ago - Politics & Policy

British national named in Colleyville synagogue standoff

A law enforcement vehicle sits near the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue on Jan. 16. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

British national Malik Faisal Akram took four people hostage at a Texas synagogue outside Fort Worth on Saturday, the FBI said in a statement.

The latest: Greater Manchester Police, in Northwest England, tweeted on Sunday night that officers had arrested and detained two teenagers in South Manchester for questioning in relation to the siege in Colleyville, Texas, "as part of the ongoing investigation into the attack."

Updated 53 seconds ago - Energy & Environment

Thousands without power as "hazardous" winter storm lashes East Coast

Winter view from Charlotte as winter storm Izzy creates dangerous conditions in Charlotte, N.C. on Jan. 16. Photo: Peter Zay/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A major winter storm was lashing much of the East Coast on Sunday, causing widespread power outages and disrupting travel over the holiday weekend.

The big picture: Heavy snow and ice accumulations are "likely to produce hazardous travel," downed trees and more power outages from the Mid-South to the Northeast, per the National Weather Service. Some parts of the U.S. can expect to see up to a foot of snow through Monday.