This chapter provides the context in which the book “Counting the Cost of COVID-19 on Global Tourism Industry” is written, including highlights for what follows in the rest of the book. The COVID-19 pandemic came when the world was in the midst of entertaining major global development agendas that had implications on the global tourism value chains. Among such major global development agendas, one could list the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its aligned 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Paris Agreement, the Sendai Framework and Habitat III’s New Urban Agenda. The pandemic also steered geopolitical and global economic tensions as key players, including individuals and countries, demanded answers as to what led to such a wild and unstoppable spread of the coronavirus. Accusations of maladministration within the World Health Organization (WHO) and connivance with China emerged. Many countries battled to “flatten” the runaway COVID-19 and economic curves. Many countries and territories went on lockdown, with millions infected and hundreds of thousands dead by the time this book was going into production. Global economic stimulus packages were urgently instituted, and the tourism sector was among the top beneficiaries of such packages. The chapter also presents sections on the importance of the tourism sector to the global economy and how past pandemics affected the sector. It further highlights the overall methodological framework used for data generation and analysis.