Chennai: Travel and tourism sector may lose 174 million jobs globally in 2020 if barriers of travel remain in place, finds the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC). India stands to lose 1.4 million jobs, find industry insiders.
If the current restrictions to international travel continue through to the end of 2020 – resulting in a limited recovery – the impact will be devastating, with as many as 174 million jobs lost globally. In June, WTTC had projected a total job loss of 197 million, which has now been revised to 174 million.
This positive gain is mostly driven by the return of domestic travel in countries such as China, which has shown a particularly strong recovery. WTTC’s analysis also shows that if current travel restrictions are removed sooner, globally, about 31 million jobs could be saved by the end of 2020.
Prolonged travel restrictions could also eliminate $4.7 trillion in the sector’s contribution to global GDP, equating to a loss of 53 per cent compared to 2019.
“Our latest data reveals the gravity of the long-term negative impact facing the global Travel & Tourism sector, if we don’t work together to resume international travel immediately. The sector’s recovery will be delayed even further, with more jobs lost, unless quarantines are replaced with rapid, cost-effective testing at airports on departure, and air corridors. The longer we wait, the more the ailing Travel & Tourism sector faces total collapse,” said Gloria Guevara, WTTC President and CEO.
A few weeks back, WTTC had come out with a plan to recover 100 million jobs and save the already crippled travel and tourism sector. Among other measures, this included eliminating quarantines and other travel barriers through the implementation of an international testing regime, combined with rigorous health and safety protocols, to enable the world to adapt to living with the Covid-19 virus while minimising the risk of it spreading further.
WTTC in its earlier analysis had projected a job loss of 33 per cent or 59.7 million in Asia-Pacific region. According to the Global Tourism Council, India stands to lose 1.3 to 1.4 million jobs in the travel and tourism sector. “As many as 5 million people are employed in the travel and tourism sector. We expect at least 26 to 28 per cent of them to have turned jobless due to the pandemic. There is only negligible improvement from our projections during the lock-down period,” said Iqbal Mulla, chief consul, Global Tourism Council.
“The international aviation is still closed and Railways have not resumed operations. Buses also are not operating fully. The religious places are closed and even the monuments are not fully open. Among those who are travelling, most of them are hometown-bound,” he said.