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Published on Thursday, March 25, 2021

More than 62 million travel jobs lost to pandemic






The World Travel & Tourism Council laid out the full impact of Covid-19 during 2020 in its annual Economic Impact Report (EIR) revealing a loss of almost US$4.5 trillion.


The report shows the sector's contribution to GDP dropped by a staggering 49.1%.


Last year, more than 62 million jobs in the sector were lost, representing a drop of 18.5%, leaving just 272 million employed across the industry globally.


These jobs losses were felt across the entire travel and tourism ecosystem with SMEs most affected.


Many existing jobs are supported by government retention schemes and reduced hours, which without a full recovery could be lost.


The report also reveals a huge decline in international travel spending, which sank 69.4% compared to the previous year.


Domestic travel spending fell by 45%.


Gloria Guevara, WTTC President & CEO, said: "We must praise the prompt action of governments around the world for saving so many jobs and livelihoods at risk, thanks to various retention schemes, without which today's figures would be far worse."


"However, WTTC's annual Economic Impact Report shows the full extent of the pain our sector has had to endure over the past 12 months."


 "With the sector's contribution to GDP plunging by almost half, it's more important than ever that travel and tourism is given the support needed so it can help power the economic recovery."


WTTC research shows that if international mobility and travel is resumed by June this year, it will significantly boost global and country level GDPs - and jobs.


According to the research, the sector's contribution to global GDP could rise sharply this year, up 48.5% year-on-year. The research also shows that its contribution could almost reach the same levels of 2019 in 2022, with a further year-on-year rise of 25.3%.


WTTC says the introduction of digital health passes, such as the recently announced 'Digital Green Certificate', will support the sector's recovery.

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