One of the industries that grew explosively in the 21st century is global tourism and amusement parks. The advent of low cost carrier has brought about a rapid growth in international tourism, which has also led to an increase in visitors for amusement theme parks.


True, the growth of amusement theme parks cannot solely be attributed to a growing number of international travelers. Other factors may include, growth of world-wide middle-income households, increased demand for entertainment activities that family members can share together within a region, and increased scalability of theme parks thanks to development in multimedia and easier access to their contents.


The following graphs on the number of international travelers’ departures and arrivals, and attendance in Disneyland amusement parks show that their explosive growth seem to be related, as they both have grown exponentially since the 21st century.

Number of international travel flights

Source: World Bank

Notes: (1) International inbound tourists (overnight visitors) are the number of tourists who travel to a country other than that in which they have their usual residence, but outside their usual environment, for a period not exceeding 12 months and whose main purpose in visiting is other than an activity remunerated from within the country visited

(2) The data on outbound tourists refer to the number of departures, not to the number of people traveling. Thus a person who makes several trips from a country during a given period is counted each time as a new departure.

Number of visitors to amusement park

Source: Wikipedia and TEA/AECOM Global Attractions Report on top 25 largest amusement parks

Note: (1) Number of world-wide visitors was aggregated from each individual resorts and parks


However, with the recent COVID-19 virus, everything has stopped. Amusement parks closed down, flights cancelled and international travel stopped. Can COVID-19 virus put a full stop to this trend and cause reversal of flights, travel and globalization, or would it be just a temporary suspension?


While in the short term the ramification of social distancing will linger and affect human behaviors, human beings are inherently social animals. Even when social distance measure has not finished, Koreans have started to come back to social gatherings, making full reservations on accommodations for golden holiday in the beginning of May (although there has been an increased number of infections recently with loosening measure).


While the trend above has stopped temporarily, if you believe in continuity of human nature, the graph will continue upward in the long run.


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