The World Travel & Tourism Council on Friday said up to 50 million jobs in travel and tourism are at risk from the Covid‐19 pandemic, and WTTC called for measures to be taken to ensure a swift recovery.
The organization also joined fellow travel groups in condemning the President Donald Trump’s ban on most travel from Europe to the U.S., saying it will damage the U.S. economy but isn’t likely to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
“We all share the priority to stop the spread and should take all necessary actions,” WTTC CEO Gloria Guevara said in a statement. “However, the new travel ban will have a dangerous economic impact on the U.S. and many other countries, and there is little evidence to show this will stop the spread of Covid‐19.”
Guevara suggested that rather than an outright ban, “the priority should be on public health within the country and mitigating the potential harm to individuals.”
“The best approach is to conduct thorough testing and put in place isolation measures, which are highly effective, as has been seen in other countries,” she added.
The latest data, WTTC said, indicate that that global travel could be adversely impacted by up to 25% in 2020, the equivalent to a loss of three months of global travel and a corresponding 12-14% reduction in jobs (about 50 million).
“The Covid‐19 outbreak clearly presents a significant threat to the industry as a whole, to those employed within it and those wishing to continue traveling,” Guevara said.
WTTC called for measures to be taken to enable the swift recovery of the sector once Covid-19 is under control including improved travel facilitation; the removal of barriers such as slot restrictions; easing fiscal policies such as air taxes; introduce relief and incentives to businesses negatively impacted by the virus; and support destinations with increased budgets and for marketing and product development purposes.