New research by the World Travel & Tourism Council suggests that up to 75 million jobs are at immediate risk in the travel and tourism sector due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The WTTC’s grim outlook also shows a loss of travel and tourism GDP to the world economy of up to US$2.1 trillion, as latest forecasts indicate a 50% increase in jobs at risk in less than two weeks.
According to the analysis, the Asia Pacific region is expected to be the most heavily impacted region in the world, with up to 49 million jobs on the brink, equating to a loss of nearly US$800 billion to travel and tourism GDP. In Europe, up to 10 million jobs in the sector are at risk, representing a loss of nearly US$552 billion.
The Americas are also expected to lose up to US$570 billion combined, with nearly seven million jobs. Other countries expected to be hit hard by this COVID-19 travel crisis include Brazil, the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, France, Japan, Indonesia and India.
The WTTC predicts China will wear the brunt of job losses, where more than one-quarter (25.6%) of all employees will be shed. India follows next with 9%, then the USA (4.7%), Indonesia (2.8%) and Thailand (1.8%). Australia is expected to see around 400,000 jobs at risk.
“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,” said Gloria Guevara, WTTC President & CEO.
“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,” Guevara added.
“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.”
Germany is set to be the most affected country in Europe, with almost 1.6 million jobs at risk, the WTTC reported. Russia will see an estimated 1.1 million in potential job losses, while Italy and the UK follow as the third most impacted regions – both countries projected to lose up to one million travel and tourism jobs.
The Middle East has been flagged as the least affected region by the COVID-19 outbreak, but still faces job losses of 1.8 million and a GDP loss of up to US$65 billion.