The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) recently said that more than 100 million jobs could return to the global Travel & Tourism sector during 2021, as the world recovers from the crippling coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
According to the WTTC, a strong summer of travel is expected as the sector begins its road to recovery from late March onwards, with many major travel companies reporting a significant rise in forward bookings.
“We are looking forward to a strong summer of travel, thanks to a combination of mask wearing, the global vaccination rollout and testing on departure unlocking the door to international travel once more,” WTTC President and CEO Gloria Guevara said.
The sector’s revival is backed by WTTC’s latest economic forecast, which gives further hope for the year ahead to businesses and millions of people employed in the sector worldwide.
WTTC new forecast
Last year, during the height of the pandemic, WTTC warned 174 million global Travel & Tourism jobs were at risk. However, in its latest analysis, WTTC’s best-case scenario predicts as many as 111 million jobs could be revived – but this would still be 17 percent below 2019 figures, accounting for 54 million fewer jobs.
However, the forecast’s more conservative outcome would still see a return of 84 million jobs, but this would be 25 percent below 2019 levels, with 82 million fewer jobs recovered.
Under this scenario, says the WTTC, the recovery of international travel is pushed to the second half of 2021. Vaccines would be rolled out more gradually, slowing down the removal of worldwide travel barriers and restrictions currently in place, while depressing demand to travel and reducing consumer confidence.
Guevara: Testing on departure will still be critical
“We cannot rely solely upon one solution and the rollout of vaccines to restart international travel; testing on departure will still be critical to restore travel while respecting the safe protocols and recovering as many jobs as possible across Travel & Tourism, and throughout the wider economy,” Guevara underlined.
According to the analysis, in the best-case scenario, Travel & Tourism’s contribution to global GDP will fall 17 percent compared to 2019 figures, to US$7.4 trillion. WTTC believes this is achievable with testing on departure, mandatory mask wearing and the worldwide implementation of vaccination programmes.
In the more conservative outcome, with a slower recovery, the sector’s contribution will drop by more than one quarter (27 percent), to US$ 6.5 trillion.
According to the WTTC, its latest predictions outline the significant challenges faced by the global sector as it prepares for its recovery in the months ahead once the impact of worldwide rollout of vaccination programmes is felt and travel restrictions are eased.