174m Travel & Tourism jobs could be lost due to COVID-19

The impact of current restrictions on international travel which continue through to the end of 2020 will be devastating, with as many as 174m million jobs lost globally. The new figures from the WTTC revealed that 174m Travel & Tourism jobs could be lost in 2020 if barriers to global travel remain in place.  WTTC’s latest economic data figures look at the punishing impact of COVID-19, as well as local and global travel restrictions on the Travel & Tourism sector.

Down from the 197m jobs as detailed in the previous study in June, WTTC says this positive gain is 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. It has also implemented a  comprehensive testing and contact tracing programme, alongside health and hygiene protocols,  further contributing to this significant increase.

The analysis shows that a staggering 31m jobs could be saved by the end of 2020  if the current global travel restrictions are removed sooner. 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 & CEO, said: “Our latest data reveals the gravity of the long-term negative impact facing the global Travel & Tourism sector if we don’t work together to resume international travel immediately.

“As travel restrictions around the world remained in place over the summer months, our estimates report an increase from 121m to 143m jobs lost. In the space of just four months, our study has shown further 22m jobs under threat worldwide. This is devastating news, and we need international coordinated action now.”

“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.”

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 & Tourism sector, and 100m jobs globally.

The game-changing plan was created with input from WTTC Members and covered a  range of key initiatives that 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 minimizing the risk of it spreading further.



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