LONDON—Up to 75 million jobs are at immediate risk in global travel and tourism due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).
The alarming figure, based on research from WTTC, shows a travel and tourism GDP loss to the world economy of up to $2.1 trillion in 2020.
The latest projection of a 50% increase in jobs at risk, in less than two weeks, represents a significant and worrying trend, with one million jobs being lost every day in the travel and tourism sector, due to the effect of the coronavirus pandemic.
The analysis by WTTC, which represents the global travel and tourism private sector, also exposes the depth of the crisis for individual regions. Asia-Pacific is expected to be most heavily impacted with up to 49 million jobs at risk throughout the region, representing a loss of nearly $800 billion to travel and tourism GDP. The latest figures also suggest that in Europe, up to 10 million jobs in travel and tourism are at risk, totaling a loss of nearly $552 billion.
The Americas are also expected to be hit hard by this crisis, with the U.S., Canada and Mexico expected to lose up to $570 billion combined, with nearly seven million jobs in travel and tourism at risk. Other countries expected to be hit hard by this crisis include Brazil, the U.K., Italy, Germany, France, Japan, Indonesia and India.
“The number of jobs now at risk in the global travel and tourism sector is a staggering 75 million, bringing real and profound worry to millions of families around the world,” said Gloria Guevara, president/CEO, WTTC. “This chilling new figure also represents the collective delay by many governments around the world to react quickly enough to come to the aid of a sector which is the backbone of the global economy.”
She continued, “If urgent action is not taken within the next few days, the travel and tourism sector faces an economic meltdown from which it will struggle to recover and plunge millions of people dependent upon it for their livelihoods into debt. Not only will this have an enormous negative impact on major businesses in the travel and tourism sector around the world, the domino effect will also result in massive job losses across the entire supply chain, hitting employees and those in self-employment.
Germany is set to be the most affected country in Europe, with almost 1.6 million jobs at risk, followed by Russia with an estimated 1.1 million in potential job losses. Italy and the U.K. follow as the third most impacted, with both countries projected to lose up to one million jobs in the travel and tourism sector.
Meanwhile, the region that has experienced the least damaging impact from the COVID-19 outbreak is the Middle East. However, it still faces job losses of 1.8 million and a GDP loss of up to $65 billion to the regional economy.
“We call on all those in positions of power to help the powerless and enact policies to support and sustain a sector that is a driving force of the global economy and responsible for generating one in five of all new jobs,” said Guevara.
Travel and Tourism contributes to 10.4% of global GDP, is directly responsible for generating one in 10 of the world’s jobs and, for eight successive years, has outpaced the growth of the global economy.