Introduction: the present and the future of tourism amidst COVID-19
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Around mid-December 2019, Wuhan, one of the most populous cities in China, experienced an outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (Yang et al., 2020). The World Health Organization declared the outbreak as a public health emergency of international concern on January 30, 2020, and a pandemic on March 11, 2020. On December 15, 2020, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDP) reported 71 503 614 cases and 1 612 833 deaths worldwide. The negative impacts of COVID-19 are not only limited to the loss of human lives, but also include short- and long-term social, economic and political effects. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD, 2020), for example, forecasts that a long-lasting and more intensive COVID-19 outbreak is likely to drop global growth to 1.5 percent in 2020, which is half the projected rate of growth prior to the outbreak, with implications for international tourism. Similarly, the International Monetary Fund forecasts that the COVID-19 outbreak could cause a global recession that could be worse than the one triggered by the global financial crisis of 2008-09.