The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) has presented an update on the study of the situation of the global tourism industry, in which it warns of the “devastating” situation the sector is going through due to the coronavirus and has raised the number of jobs at risk from 100 to 197 million due to the crisis. They propose three scenarios and in the most pessimistic the losses could reach 5,543 billion dollars.
Because of the prolonged travel restrictions, Gloria Guevara, president and CEO of the WTTC, has again put on the table “the devastating impact on the millions of families that depend on this sector”, since “this terrible virus has had an overwhelming global socio-economic impact, threatening the jobs of millions of people who depend on a thriving travel and tourism sector for their survival.
This study proposes three scenarios for the reactivation of the activity:
- Without the support required by the sector and restrictions until the end of the year. If this happens, 197.5 million jobs could be lost in the global travel and tourism sector, with a loss of US$5,543 billion to global GDP. Globally, the number of international tourists would suffer a 73% contraction.
- Restrictions are easing this summer. If the current restrictions start to be relaxed for domestic travel and towards July and August for medium distance travel, and from September for long distance, the risk is that 121.1 million jobs will be lost. The contraction in the number of international tourists would be 34% and losses 435 billion in world GDP.
- Support and fewer restrictions. The best of the scenarios is that which contemplates support for the sector and restrictions that begin to diminish 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. In this possible context the number of jobs at risk falls to 98.2 million and a loss of 2,686 billion dollars in GDP.
Based on these three possible scenarios, the WTTC has insisted that there are four points that governments must address, starting with the elimination of quarantine measures “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 warnings and bans on non-essential international travel, which prevent insurance protection coverage for travelers.
Second, it reiterates the need to adopt global health and safety protocols; implement rapid testing and a tracing strategy to help contain the spread of the virus, while allowing people to travel responsibly at home and abroad. And finally a “greater and sustained” collaboration between the public and private sectors.