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One million jobs a day being lost due to Coronavirus pandemic

One million jobs a day being lost due to Coronavirus pandemic
March 21, 2020

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has advised that a staggering one million jobs are being lost every day across the global tourism industry due to the sweeping effect of the Coronavirus pandemic.

According to the London-based international organisation, the growing job losses are affecting every level of the industry and are gathering pace, as countries go into lockdown to tackle the virus.

WTTC says the vast closure of hotels, suspension of the majority of international and domestic airline flights, cessation of cruise lines and growing global travel bans are having a catastrophic ‘domino effect’ hitting huge numbers of suppliers worldwide.

Small and medium sized businesses at every level within tourism, such as tour operators, travel agents and sole-traders, are especially vulnerable.

The organisation, which is already in talks with over 75 governments around the world, has called for countries to urgently do more to intervene to make clearer how businesses can access potentially life-saving loans, and tax breaks, to prevent them from imminent collapse.

WTTC is mindful that while the industry is facing an economic meltdown the Coronavirus pandemic is primarily a global health disaster, which governments are doing all they can to contain the spread and reduce the number of deaths.

Commenting on the challenges for the industry, WTTC President and Chief Executive, Gloria Guevara stated “while the priority for governments is to keep people safe, this global health catastrophe means a million people a day in the travel and tourism industry alone are losing their jobs and facing potential ruin due to the disastrous impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

“It is heartbreaking that the livelihoods of millions of people who have dedicated their lives to the travel and tourism sector are being decimated; from waiters to taxi drivers, guides to chefs and caterers, pilots to cleaners.

“The relentless cascade of job losses is plunging millions of families into terrible hardship and debt, fearful of how to buy food and pay their bills. The domino effect of Covid-19 is right now having a massive impact, wiping out an entire economic sector.

“Businesses large and small are being forced to rip up their three-year plans and focus on a three-month fight for survival on a daily basis, while people’s jobs are wiped out hour by hour. We fear this situation will only deteriorate unless more action is taken immediately by governments to address it.

“While some governments have been quick to respond with promises of help, the majority of businesses still have no idea how to access these potentially life-saving loans and tax breaks.

“We call on governments around the world to make crystal clear how businesses can access funds, which can prevent the hemorrhage of jobs throughout the travel and tourism sector.”

The plea for urgent action came following an analysis by WTTC of its members, which represents every level of the travel and tourism sector. Up to 50 million jobs throughout the world are at immediate risk, with up to 320 million jobs facing the impact of the dramatic loss of business.

According to WTTC’s latest research travel and tourism contributes to 10.4% of global GDP, is directly responsible for generating one in 10 of the world’s jobs and, for eight successive years, has outpaced the growth of the global economy.

Earlier this week, WTTC announced a three-point plan for governments to take to combat the devastating effect of Covid-19. This comprised:

1. Protect the salaries, incomes and jobs of the millions of people who are at risk
2. Extend vital, unlimited interest-free loans to provide liquidity to large and small Travel & Tourism businesses to prevent them from collapse
3. Waive or remove all dues, taxes or fiscal charges for 12 months that affect cash flow which can be critical to businesses survival. 

For further information, please visit wttc.org

Images: Shanghai Disnyeland (top) and WTTC President and Chief Executive, Gloria Guevara (below).

Related Articles

20th March 2020 - Australian tourism sector losing $3 billion a month as travel restrictions bite

18th March 2020 - Tourism Industry Aotearoa welcomes Government support but advises jobs still threatened

17th March 2020 - Coronavirus impact puts up to 50 million jobs at risk across global tourism

13th March 2020 - Tourism Industry body welcomes Federal Government’s Coronavirus stimulus

20th September 2019 - WTTC and Deloitte unveil initiative to ensure tourism success during the digital revolution

10th April 2019 - WTTC launches tourism best practices toolkit to inform governments

9th April 2019 - Cambodian sustainable tourism initiative congratulates WTTC award winners

8th April 2019 - WTTC recognises sustainable tourism excellence with 2019 Awards

3rd April 2019 - Tourism ‘the best partner for governments’ to generate jobs and economic growth

12th December 2018 - WTTC highlights role of tourism in attaining a carbon neutral world by 2050


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