Global travel industry takes $4.5t losses
More vaccinations are needed before ban can be lifted, warns health boss
A report by the World Travel and Tourism Council, or WTTC, has revealed the full extent of the damage done to the global travel industry in 2020 after business was devastated by the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Globally, the sector's income slumped by almost $4.5 trillion last year. In 2019, travel and tourism was linked to one in four of all new jobs created around the world. But in 2020, more than 62 million jobs were lost.
International travel spending slumped 69.4 percent from 2019's levels. Domestic markets also suffered, with a 45 percent reduction in business.
In contrast to an overall global economic shrinkage of 3.7 percent during 2020, the travel sector's contribution to GDP fell by 49.1 percent.
"We must praise the prompt action of governments around the world for saving so many jobs and livelihoods at risk, thanks to various retention schemes, without which today's figures would be far worse," said the organization's chief executive, Gloria Guevara.
"However, WTTC's annual economic impact report shows the full extent of the pain our sector has had to endure over the past 12 months, which has needlessly devastated so many lives and businesses, large and small."
After what she called a "ruinous"2020 and winter, she was hopeful that increased levels of vaccination and the gradual reopening of travel markets could help revive the travel industry.
This would in turn benefit the wider economic recovery, provided the industry was given the necessary support, and allow the damage of lost jobs to be undone.
"With the sector's contribution to GDP plunging by almost half, it's more important than ever that travel and tourism is given the support needed so it can help power the economic recovery, which will be instrumental in enabling the world to revive from the effects of the pandemic," she added.
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