The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) increased from 100 to 197 million the number of jobs that are at risk of disappearing in the sector globally due to the health crisis of COVID-19, which has prolonged restrictions on tourism activity in certain countries and regions in which the pandemic has been controlled.
A new study by the WTTC warns of the “devastating” situation facing the tourism sector, amid travel restrictions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gloria Guevara Manzo, President and CEO of the WTTC, stated that “our solidarity is with all those affected by this pandemic and with those who sadly lost their lives, however we cannot fail to consider the devastating impact on the millions of families who depend on it. sector. This terrible virus has had a crushing global socio-economic impact, threatening the jobs of millions of people who depend on a thriving travel and tourism sector for their survival. ”
“Unfortunately, our new study reveals the depth of the long-term impact facing the global travel and tourism industry, if the necessary supports for the sector do not exist and travel restrictions continue for an extended period. In the worst case scenario, prolonged travel restrictions could jeopardize more than 197 million jobs, “he said.
She said that the recovery of the sector will be delayed due to severe restrictions on travel in those countries or regions where the epidemic has been controlled, in one of the most complex periods in history; Hotels, destinations, travel agencies and others will be seriously affected by the economic ripple effect of prolonged movement restrictions, leading millions of travel companies and their employees to financial ruin.
The WTTC study analyzed three different scenarios for the revival of tourism activity, with levels of impact for the economy and employment globally:
In the first scenario, where the required support to the sector does not exist and the restrictions continue until the end of the year, 197.5 million jobs could be lost in the global travel and tourism sector, with a loss of $ 5.543 billion in global GDP. . Meanwhile, the number of world visitors would drop by 73 percent for international arrivals.
In the second case, if the current restrictions begin to decrease from the summer for domestic trips and towards July and August for medium-distance trips, and from September for long-distance trips, a total of 121.1 million jobs could be lost in the global sector. travel and tourism, with a loss of 3,435 billion in world GDP. Meanwhile, the number of global visitors would drop 53 percent for international arrivals and 34 percent for domestic arrivals.
Third, in the best of scenarios, if the required supports exist and the restrictions begin to decrease as of June, as long as the levels of contagion are controlled, for short and regional trips; From July for medium distance and from August for long distance, a total of 98.2 million jobs in the sector could be lost, with a loss of 2.686 billion in world GDP. Meanwhile, the number of world visitors would drop 41 percent for international arrivals and 26 percent for domestic arrivals.
Therefore, the WTTC highlighted the importance of government support for the recovery of tourism activity, for which it formulated a series of recommendations, which include four points:
1.-The elimination of any quarantine measure for travelers and replacing them with “air corridors” to countries with similar circumstances to stimulate the travel and tourism sector and the global economy, as well as the elimination of travel warnings and prohibitions. non-essential international, which avoid insurance protection coverage for travelers.
2.-The adoption of global health and safety protocols, such as the Secure Travel Seal recently released by WTTC, to guarantee travelers that there are improved health and hygiene measures and that it is safe to travel again.
3.-The implementation of a rapid test and a tracking strategy to help contain the spread of the virus, while allowing people to travel responsibly at home and abroad.
4.-A greater and sustained collaboration between the public and private sectors to guarantee a coordinated global approach to the crisis.
Finally, Gloria Guevara added: “The health and safety of travelers and those who work in the sector is the priority. That is why we have recommended the opening of “travel corridors” between countries that have controlled the spread of the virus and have provided immediate support for the entire travel and tourism ecosystem. This will be vital to driving economic recovery and rebuilding the livelihoods of millions of people. ”
According to the WTTC’s 2020 Economic Impact Report, during 2019, travel and tourism supported one in 10 jobs (330 million in total), making a contribution of 10.3 percent to global GDP and generating one in four of all new jobs.