COVID-19 is having a devasting impact on travel and tourism worldwide. Travel restrictions, flight cancellations/frequency reduction, the cessation of cruises, the closure of major venues and events, and the call for greater ‘social distancing’ all mean less travel, millions of jobs lost, and many business casualties.
The latest research from World Travel and Tourism Council suggests that up to 75 million jobs are at risk in global Travel & Tourism due to the pandemic, with an estimated Travel and Tourism GDP loss to the world economy of up to US$2.1 trillion in 2020.
The analysis by WTTC, also exposes the depth of the crisis for individual regions. Asia-Pacific is expected to be most heavily impacted with up to 49 million jobs at risk throughout the region, representing a loss of nearly US$800 billion to Travel and Tourism GDP. The latest figures also suggest that in Europe, up to 10 million jobs in Travel & Tourism are at risk, totalling a loss of nearly US$552 billion.
The Americas are expected to be hit hard by this crisis, with the United States, Canada and Mexico likely to lose up to US$570 billion combined, with nearly seven million jobs in Travel and Tourism at risk. Other countries expected to be hit hard by this crisis include Brazil, the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, France, Japan, Indonesia and India.
Germany is set to be the most affected country in Europe, with almost 1.6 million jobs at risk, followed by Russia with an estimated 1.1 million in potential job losses. Italy and the UK follow as the third most impacted, with both countries projected to lose up to one million jobs in the Travel & Tourism sector.
Meanwhile, the region which has experienced the least damaging impact from the COVID-19 outbreak is the Middle East. However, it still faces job losses of 1.8 million and a GDP loss of up to US$65 billion to the regional economy.
Travel & Tourism contributes to 10.4% of Global GDP, is directly responsible for generating one in 10 of the world’s jobs, and for eight successive years, has outpaced the growth of the global economy.
In separate news, Global hospitality data company STR has released hotel industry reports for the week ending March 21 and in nearly all markets the metrics are really poor.
However, the first market to deal with the coronavirus, China, is also the first to show signs of stabilization. About 87% of the country’s hotels are now open and occupancy is starting to turn in a positive direction, to about 22% for the week ending March 21 from a low of 10% in February.
The turning point in China – according to STR analysts – coincides with a halt in new cases of the virus.
No one knows for certain when this coronavirus crisis will end or what the human and economic toll will be, but it is having a deep impact on all of us.
The tourism, travel, and hospitality sectors have taken the brunt of the economic impact. At Glance, we are committed to working with all our clients during these difficult times to help their businesses recover.
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