A Staggering Number

It is a staggering number.

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) says that 1 million jobs are being lost every day in the travel and tourism sector due to the sweeping effect of the coronavirus pandemic.

The growing job losses, the WTTC reports, are affecting every level of the industry and are gathering pace, as countries go into lockdown to tackle the virus.

The industry association points to the widespread closure of hotels, suspension of the majority of international and domestic airline flights, cessation of cruise lines operations 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 travel and tourism, such as tour operators, travel agents and sole-traders, are especially vulnerable.

Already in talks with over 75 governments around the world, the WTTC is calling 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.

Gloria Guevara, WTTC president & CEO, said: “While the priority for governments is to keep people safe, this global health catastrophe means a million people a day in the Travel & Tourism industry alone are losing their jobs and facing potential ruin due to the disastrous impact of the coronavirus pandemic.”

Guevara said: “It is heartbreaking that the livelihoods of millions of people who have dedicated their lives to the Travel & Tourism sector are being decimated; from waiters to taxi drivers, guides to chefs and caterers, pilots to cleaners.”

She said that: “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.”

And continued: “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.”

Guevara said that: “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.”

As a result, Guevara said that: “Today 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.

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