Up to 75 million jobs are at immediate risk in global tourism due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council.
The alarming figure, based on research from WTTC, shows a punishing tourism GDP loss to the world economy of up to US$2.1 trillion in 2020.
The latest projection – which represents a 50 per cent increase in jobs at risk on previous forecasts – represents a significant and worrying trend, with an astounding one million jobs being lost every day in the sector, the WTTC argued.
Analysis by WTTC also exposes the depth of the crisis in the UK, with up to one million jobs at risk, leading to a total GDP loss of more than £52.2 billion.
Latest research suggests across the EU, the tourism sector faces a risk of 6.4 million jobs, totaling a GDP loss of up to US$413 billion.
While Europe is the third most heavily impacted global market, WTTC figures show Asia Pacific’s tourism sector continues to suffer the brunt of the Covid-19 outbreak.
In China alone, up to 26 million jobs are at risk, with the country facing a “catastrophic” GDP loss of US$490 billion.
Gloria Guevara, WTTC chief executive, said: “The number of jobs now at risk in the global tourism sector is a staggering 75 million, bringing real and profound worry to millions of families around the world.
“This chilling latest figure also represents the collective delay by many governments around the world to react quickly enough to come to the aid of a sector which is the backbone of the global economy.
“If urgent action is not taken within the next few days, the tourism sector faces an economic meltdown from which it will struggle to recover and plunge millions of people dependent upon it for their livelihoods into debt.
“Not only will this have an enormous negative impact on major businesses in the tourism sector around the world, the ‘domino effect’ will also result in massive job losses across the entire supply chain, hitting employees and those in self-employment.
“We call on all those in positions of power to help the powerless and enact policies to support and sustain a sector which is a driving force of the global economy and responsible for generating one in five of all new jobs.”