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Tourism sector suffered a loss of 2020 trillion (!) in 4,5 due to COVID-19

TRAVEL NEWS – March 25, 2021: The World Travel & Tourism Council's annual Economic Impact Report (EIR) reveals the full devastating impact of COVID-19 on the global travel and tourism industry last year, which suffered a massive loss of nearly $4,5 trillion. Also, more than 61 million jobs were lost in the sector in just one year.

It is difficult to comprehend how much money 4,5 trillion actually is, but to give you an idea, we list the amount in its entirety below.

$ 4.500.000.000.000,-

The loss of the global tourism sector in 2020

WTTC's annual Economic Impact Report (EIR) figures

The World Travel & Tourism Council's annual EIR (WTTC), which represents the global private sector of Travel & Tourism, shows that the sector's contribution to GDP (gross domestic product is the total monetary value of all goods and services produced in a country during a given period of time), decreased by no less than 49,1%, compared to the overall global economy which fell just 3,7%.

Huge losses will mount in 2020. The report paints the first full picture of an industry struggling to survive despite crippling travel restrictions and quarantines, which continue to threaten the urgent recovery of the global economy.

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The global impact has turned out to be huge

Overall, the sector's contribution to global GDP declined to $4,7 trillion in 2020 (5,5% of the global economy), from nearly $9,2 trillion the previous year (10,4%).

In 2019, 10,6% of the world's working population was employed in the tourism sector

WTTC's Annual Economic Impact Report (EIR)

In 2019, when Travel & Tourism thrived globally, generating one in four new jobs worldwide, the industry contributed 10,6% (334 million) jobs globally.

But last year, as the pandemic ripped through the heart of Travel and Tourism, more than 62 million jobs were lost, a decline of 18,5%, leaving just 272 million people employed in the industry worldwide. .

A Tuk Tuk taxi driver in Bangkok | A well-known job in the tourism sector
A Tuk Tuk taxi driver in Bangkok | A well-known job in the tourism sector

This job loss has occurred across the entire travel and tourism ecosystem, particularly affecting SMEs (SMEs), which make up 80% of all companies in the sector. In addition, as one of the most diverse industries in the world, the impact on women, youth and minorities has been significant.

Threat of covid-19 not over yet

The threat remains, however, as many of these jobs are currently supported by government retention schemes and reduced hours, which could be lost without a full recovery to travel and tourism.

Continuously leading the way in leading the private sector in efforts to restore international mobility and restore global consumer confidence, WTTC has praised governments around the world for their swift response.

However, the global tourism board fears that governments cannot continue supporting threatened jobs indefinitely and should instead turn to the sector to drive recovery so it can fuel the global economic recovery by bailing out businesses and creating much-needed new jobs. to create. Only in this way can you save the millions of people from an economic abyss.

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International travel spending down 69,4%

The report also reveals a shocking loss in international travel spending, which was 69,4% lower than the previous year.

Domestic travel spending fell by 45%, a lower decline due to some domestic travel in a number of countries.

Gloria Guevara, WTTC President & CEO, said: “We must commend the swift action of governments around the world to save so many jobs and livelihoods at risk, thanks to various retention schemes, without which today's numbers would be much worse. to be.

“However, WTTC's annual Economic Impact Report shows the full extent of the pain our industry has endured over the past 12 months, which has unnecessarily destroyed many lives and businesses, large and small.

An empty airport

“Obviously no one wants to go through what so many have endured over the past 4,5 months. WTTC research shows that the global travel and tourism industry alone has been devastated, suffering an unprecedented loss of nearly $XNUMX trillion.

“With the sector's contribution to GDP having fallen by nearly half, it is more important than ever that travel and tourism receive the support they need so that it can contribute to the economic recovery, which will be instrumental in helping the world move forward. to recover from the effects of the pandemic.”

The Road to Recovery: WTTC Calls for June 2021

While 2020 and the winter of 2021 have been disastrous for travel and tourism, WTTC research shows that if international mobility and travel resumes by June this year, it will significantly boost global and national GDP – as well as jobs at the same time.

According to the survey, the sector's contribution to global GDP could rise sharply this year, up 48,5% year-on-year. The research also shows that its contribution could reach almost the same level as 2022 in 2019, with a further increase of 25,3% year-on-year.

WTTC also predicts that if global vaccine rollouts continue at a brisk pace and travel restrictions are eased just before the busy summer season, the 62 million jobs lost in 2020 could return by 2022.

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WTTC strongly advocates the resumption of safe international travel in June this year, if governments follow its four recovery principles, including a comprehensively coordinated international pre-departure testing regime for all unvaccinated travelers, to eliminate quarantines.

Improved health and hygiene protocols

It also includes improved health and hygiene protocols and mandatory mask wearing; shift to individual traveler risk assessments rather than country risk assessments; and continued support to the industry, including tax, liquidity and employee protection.

WTTC says the introduction of digital health cards, such as the recently announced 'Digital Green Pass' will support the recovery of the sector.

The Global Tourism Authority is also urging governments around the world to provide a clear and decisive roadmap to give businesses time to ramp up operations to recover from the ravages of the pandemic.

Source: WTTC
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