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50 million travel, tourism jobs at risk: WTTC

With cruise lines suspending operations, most major tour operators doing the same, and airlines cutting international routes to seemingly everywhere, all on account of coronavirus, the immediate future for the travel and tourism industries looks bleak.



As such, the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) says that up to 50 million jobs in the sector are at risk due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 


“WTTC figures show the stark impact on the Travel & Tourism sector of the present COVID-19 outbreak with analysis now suggesting that up to 50 million jobs are at risk in the sector globally,” WTTC President & CEO Gloria Guevara said. 


“When the time is right, WTTC and the global private sector will be ready to help and support the government and countries to recover.”


Representing the global travel and tourism private sector, WTTC says that international travel could be “adversely impacted” by up to 25 per cent this year – equal to the loss of three months of global travel. This equates to a “corresponding reduction in jobs of between 12 and 14 per cent”.


“The COVID-19 outbreak clearly presents a significant threat to the industry as a whole, to those employed within it, and those wishing to continue travelling,” Ms Guevara said.


“Travel & Tourism has the strength to overcome this challenge and will emerge stronger and more robust by taking all necessary measures to tackle COVID-19 and the understandable concern which surrounds it.”


With all of this in mind, WTTC has called for a series of measures to be taken to help in the recovery of tourism including improving travel facilitation, removing barriers, easing fiscal policies and taxes, introducing incentives especially for SMEs, and supporting destinations by upping budgets. 


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Written by: Mark Harada
Published: 16 March 2020

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