Up to 9.2 million jobs could be lost in the U.S. Travel & Tourism sector in 2020 if barriers to global travel remain in place, the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) revealed.
The new figure comes from WTTC’s latest economic modelling, which looks at the impact of Covid-19 and travel restrictions on the Travel & Tourism sector. According to the latest data, 7.2 million jobs in the U.S. have been impacted. If there is no immediate alleviation of restrictions on international travel, as many as 9.2 million jobs could be lost.
WTTC has identified the four top priorities which should be addressed, including the adoption of a comprehensive and cost-effective testing regime at departure to avoid transmission, the re-opening of key ‘air corridors’ such as between New York and London, and international coordination.
The challenge of restoring safe travels in the new normal is one of the biggest issues facing the U.S. as it grapples with a depressed economy devastated by the Covid-19 pandemic, which has hit the Travel & Tourism sector particularly hard.
The WTTC Economic Impact Report for 2019 showed that Travel & Tourism contributed $1.84 trillion to the U.S. economy and was responsible for more than one in 10 (10.7%) American jobs.
“Eight out of 10 businesses within Travel & Tourism are SME’s, employing millions of people around the world, and all of which rely on a thriving Travel & Tourism sector,” said Gloria Guevara, WTTC President & CEO. “It is also one of the most diverse sectors, employing people from all socio-economic backgrounds regardless of age, gender or ethnicity, with almost 50% of whom are women and up to 30% youths.”
Across North America, WTTC research shows that between 10.8 million and 13.8 million jobs within Travel & Tourism are at serious risk.
We need to learn to co-exist with this virus and measures should be in place to reactivate both inbound and outbound travel responsibly and avoid further economic and social hardshipGloria Guevara, WTTC President & CEO
The resumption of international travel will act as a catalyst to re-energise the global economic recovery. According to WTTC, the four main priorities for the new U.S. administration should be:
- The re-opening of ‘air corridors’ on vital routes, especially those across the Atlantic to re-establish crucial business travel between major economic hubs
- The introduction of a testing regime at airports, with globally recognised standards to avoid exporting and importing the virus
- A commitment to ensure safe and seamless travel, with enhanced health and hygiene measures as well as contactless touchpoints
- Ensure international coordination to adopt standards that will allow international travel to restart and rebuild consumer confidence.