The World Travel & Tourism Council says up to 50 million jobs in the Travel & Tourism sector are at risk due to the coronavirus pandemic with at least 2million jobs in the Spanish sector at risk.
Gloria Guevara, WTTC President & CEO, said: “WTTC figures show the stark impact on the Travel & Tourism sector of the present COVID-19 outbreak with analysis now suggesting that up to 50 million jobs are at risk in the sector globally”.
Tourism in Spain is the third major contributor to national economic life after the industrial and the business/banking sectors, contributing about 10–11% of Spain’s GDP. It is a worry as Spain already has one of the highest unemployment rates in Europe. According to recent data, over 2million people are employed across Spain in the Travel and Tourism industry and is one of the main employers on the Costa-Del-Sol.
“When the time is right, WTTC and the global private sector will be ready to help and support the government and countries to recover”
The latest figures from WTTC, which represents the global Travel & Tourism private sector, show that global travel could be adversely impacted by up to 25 percent in 2020. This is the equivalent to a loss of three months of global travel. This could lead to a corresponding reduction in jobs of between 12 and 14 percent.
“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.
“Travel & Tourism has the strength to overcome this challenge and will emerge stronger and more robust by taking all necessary measures to tackle COVID-19 and the understandable concern which surrounds it.”
Following extensive consultation with other Travel & Tourism organizations, WTTC is also calling for a series of measures to be taken, to enable the swift recovery of the sector once COVID-19 is under control.
WTTC will offer its support to all governments, particularly those which are implementing strong policies for a prompt recovery such as:
- Improve travel facilitation – remove or simplify visas wherever possible, reduce the cost and improve processing times where practical, accept other visas when appropriate and introduce more efficient technologies for seamless and secure travel
- Remove barriers – ensure that unnecessary barriers are removed or relaxed to alleviate pressure at ports and airports, including temporarily lifting of the 80-20 slot policy rule, ports assignments and implement flexible working visa for the industry in some countries with existing limitations, especially in hospitality and tour operation.
- Ease fiscal policies – reduce and remove travelers’ taxes which increases the cost of travel, e.g. Air Passenger Duty and the similar airport, port and hospitality taxes around the world
- Introduce incentives – introduce relief and incentives to support business continuity for companies that have been most negatively impacted by the virus. SMEs, in particular, will take longer to recover.
- Support destinations – increase budgets and assign resources for promotion, marketing and product development purposes in destinations when they are ready to welcome visitors again
At this time, WTTC reinforces the importance of strong public-private partnerships and greater international cooperation in order to respond and overcome the challenges faced by its members during the management and recovery from COVID-19.