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ILO: Tourism & Hospitality Among Most Vulnerable to Covid-19

The tourism industry stands to lose thousands of jobs in the aftermath of the coronavirus health crisis, which has taken the world by storm leaving behind 9,000 fatalities and the grim prospect of some 25 million lost employment positions, according to the International Labor Organization (ILO).

“The services sector, tourism, travel and retail are especially vulnerable. An initial assessment by the World Trade and Tourism Council (WTTC) forecasts a decline in international arrivals of up to 25 percent in 2020, which would place millions of jobs at risk,” the ILO report said.

Based on initial findings, ILO analysts expect the Covid-19 pandemic to push millions of people into unemployment, underemployment and working poverty, and is calling for coordinated and immediate response and decisive measures.

Action should focus on health protection and economic support on both the demand- and supply-side, including income protection, supporting employment retention (ie short-time work, paid leave, other subsidies), and financial and tax relief.

“The decline in economic activity and constraints on people’s movements is impacting both manufacturing and services. All businesses, regardless of size, are facing serious challenges, especially those in the aviation, tourism and hospitality industries, with a real threat of significant declines in revenue, insolvencies and job losses in specific sectors. Sustaining business operations will be particularly difficult for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs),” the report adds.

Besides swift policy responses on national and global levels, deeper institutional and policy reforms are also required to strengthen demand-led recovery and build resilience, ILO notes.

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