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Travel, tourism job losses to reach 100 million: WTTC

Asia by far the hardest hit continent

Surging past its previous estimate from a month ago by more than 30%, the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) believes over 100 million travel and tourism jobs could be lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


New York City in busier times

WTTC data shows that almost 75 million of the 100.8 million jobs at risk are in G20 countries, leading the council to alert G20 Tourism Ministers to the extent of the crisis via video conference.


Nearly two in three (63.4 million) of the estimated job losses will strike Asia, making it the most heavily impacted continent.    


Additionally, the WTTC analysis revealed a “sharp escalation” in the estimated economic hit to the global economy, up from US$2.1 trillion of GDP a month ago to US$2.7 trillion. 


WTTC President and CEO Gloria Guevara said the new data showed a “staggering and deeply worrying change” over a short period of time. 


“In just the last month alone, our research shows an increase of 25 million in the number of job losses in Travel & Tourism. The whole cycle of tourism is being wiped out by the pandemic,” she remarked.  


“We have alerted the G20 Tourism Ministers, meeting today, to the extent of the crisis and advised on how governments need to step in swiftly to support and protect our sector.


“Travel & Tourism is the backbone of the global economy. Without it, global economies will struggle to recover in any meaningful way and hundreds of millions of people will suffer enormous financial and mental damage for years to come.” 


According to WTTC, the coronavirus crisis is causing the loss of over one million jobs every day.


Scale of the Crisis WTTC Analysis



Potential total job losses  

Total GDP loss
















North America



Latin America






Middle East 







US$ billion figures are based on 2019 prices and exchange rates 



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Written by: Mark Harada
Published: 26 April 2020

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