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Published on Thursday, March 26, 2020

WTTC warns of 'catastrophic collapse' of travel and tourism







G20 leaders are being urged to take action to prevent a 'catastrophic collapse' of the global travel and tourism sector amid the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

At a virtual summit today, hosted by Saudi Arabia, the World Travel & Tourism Council will urge leaders to execute crucial measures to save up to 75 million jobs which it says are at immediate risk in the sector.

The alarming figure is 50% higher than the WTTC's last projection less than two weeks ago.

Gloria Guevara, WTTC president and CEO, said: "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.

"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.

"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.

"We call on all those in positions of power to help the powerless and enact policies to support and sustain a sector which is a driving force of the global economy and responsible for generating one in five of all new jobs."

The WTTC said 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.

Italy and the UK follow as the third most impacted, with both countries projected to lose up to one million jobs in the sector.

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