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174 million travel and tourism jobs could be lost in 2020 due to Covid-19 and travel restrictions: WTTC

If the current restrictions to international travel continue through to the end of 2020, resulting in a limited recovery , the impact will be devastating, with as many as 174 million million jobs lost globally.

Agencies
Prolonged travel restrictions could also eliminate $4.7 trillion in the sector’s contribution to global GDP.
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NEW DELHI: New figures from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) released on Friday revealed that despite a slight improvement driven by the return of domestic travel in a number of markets, a staggering 174 million travel and tourism jobs could be lost in 2020 if barriers to global travel remain in place.

WTTC said the new estimates come from the latest economic data, which looks at the punishing impact of Covid-19, as well as local and global travel restrictions on the travel and tourism sector.

WTTC said if the current restrictions to international travel continue through to the end of 2020, resulting in a limited recovery , the impact will be devastating, with as many as 174 million million jobs lost globally.


Down from the 197 million jobs detailed in the previous study in June, WTTC said the positive gains were in most part driven by the return of domestic travel in countries such as China, which has shown a particularly strong recovery of its domestic market.

WTTC said the analysis shows that if current travel restrictions are removed sooner, globally, around 31 million jobs could be saved by the end of 2020.

This equates to almost the entire population of the US city of Atlanta or the Portuguese city of Lisbon, WTTC said.
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Prolonged travel restrictions could also eliminate $4.7 trillion in the sector’s contribution to global GDP, equating to a loss of 53% compared to 2019.

Gloria Guevara, WTTC president and CEO, said: “Our latest data reveals the gravity of the long-term negative impact facing the global travel and tourism sector, if we don’t work together to resume international travel immediately."

Guevara added that as travel restrictions around the world remained in place over the summer months, WTTC estimates report an increase from 121 milliom, to 143 million jobs lost. "In the space of just four months, our study has shown a further 22 million jobs under threat worldwide. This is devastating news, and we need international coordinated action now," she added.

She said the sector’s recovery will be delayed even further, with more jobs lost, unless quarantines are replaced with rapid, cost-effective testing at airports on departure, and air corridors. "The longer we wait, the more the ailing Travel & Tourism sector faces total collapse," she added.
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According to WTTC’s 2020 Economic Impact Report, Travel & Tourism was responsible for one in 10 jobs (330 million in total), making a 10.3% contribution to global GDP and generating one in four of all new jobs.

Just a few weeks ago, G20 Tourism Ministers hosted more than 45 CEOs and Members of WTTC who, at the request of Saudi Arabia, presented the 100 Million Jobs Recovery Plan to save the already crippled travel and tourism sector, and 100 million jobs globally.
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The council said the plan was created with inputs from WTTC members and covered initiatives which hinged on securing strong international coordination to re-establish effective operations and restart international travel.

Among other measures, this included eliminating quarantines and other travel barriers through the implementation of an international testing regime, combined with rigorous health and safety protocols, to enable the world to adapt to living with the Covid-19 virus while minimising the risk of it spreading further, WTTC said.
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