Coronavirus: Plea for world leaders to save millions of travel and tourism jobs

World leaders are being urged to introduce “crucial measures” to save the travel and tourism sector from coronavirus pandemic collapse.

The plea from the World Travel & Tourism Council came ahead of a special video conference convened by the Group of 20 major economies today to discuss the epidemic.

The WTTC called on G20 countries to assign resources and co-ordinate efforts to rescue major travel businesses such as airlines, cruises, hotels, GDS and technology companies, as well as travel agents, tour operators, restaurants, independent workers and the entire supply chain, in order to save millions of jobs.

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The WTTC’s latest economic impact report shows that the sector supported one in ten jobs – 330 million – last year, making a 10.3% contribution to global GDP and generating a quarter of all new jobs.

The organistion warned yesterday that an “astounding” one million jobs are being lost every day in the sector, due to the sweeping effect of the coronavirus pandemic.

Gloria Guevara, WTTC president and chief executive, said: “The coronavirus pandemic has put the sector in unprecedented danger of collapse, which is looking increasingly likely unless a global rescue package is agreed to bolster what has become the backbone of the global economy.

“WTTC’s economic impact report for 2019 reveals that this vital sector was responsible for generating one in four of all new jobs globally in 2019 and will have a crucial part to play in powering the global recovery.

“It is therefore of paramount importance that the G20 take urgent action now to preserve the 75 million jobs at immediate risk, which would represent a crushing travel and tourism GDP loss to the world economy of up to $2.1 trillion in 2020 alone.

“A determined and decisive action by the G20 could reverse this, save millions from misery, and bolster one of the main engines of future economic growth.

“On behalf of millions of families and businesses, large and small around the world, we implore the G20 to take this vital step.

“We also recognise the efforts from all G20 countries in supporting a sector that alleviates poverty, provides opportunity, especially for women and the youth, and is an engine for growth.”

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