- The World Travel and Tourism Council has warned the COVID-19 pandemic could cut 50 million jobs worldwide in the travel and tourism industry.
- Asia is expected to be the worst affected.
- Once the outbreak is over, it could take up to 10 months for the industry to recover.
- The tourism industry currently accounts for 10% of global GDP.
The coronavirus epidemic is putting up to 50 million jobs in the global travel and tourism sector at risk, with travel likely to slump by a quarter this year, Asia being the most affected continent, the World Travel and Tourism Council has said.
Around 850,000 people travel each month from Europe to the United States, equivalent to a $3.4 billion monthly contribution to the U.S. economy, Messina said.
Of the 50 million jobs that could be lost, around 30 million would be in Asia, seven million in Europe, five million in the Americas and the rest in other continents, she projected.
The equivalent to a loss of three months of global travel in 2020 could lead to a corresponding reduction in jobs of between 12% and 14%, the WTTC said, also calling on governments to remove or simplify visas wherever possible, cut travel taxes and introduce incentives once the epidemic is under control.
She also encouraged flexibility in the sector, so that travelers can postpone and not cancel their plans.
By sector, airlines and cruise ships were currently being more impacted than hotels, the official added.
The tourism industry accounts for 10% of the world’s GDP and jobs.
The WTTC official defended the confinement of certain towns – as is currently happening in Italy and Spain – if health officials recommend it to contain the outbreak, but only in specifically targeted areas or for certain age groups.
Messina estimated that, once the outbreak is under control, it would take up to 10 months for the tourism sector to return to its normal levels.
Article “World Economic Forum”
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