The global organization representing the private tourism and travel sector, World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) expects businesses recovering from the COVID-19 impact to rehire or create new job opportunities for millions of travel and tourism employees who lost their jobs in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The WTTC analysis is based on the continued massive rollout of coronavirus vaccines and the resumption of international mobility and travel by the summer of 2021.
More than 62 million jobs were lost in the travel and tourism sector (an 18 percent drop) as the pandemic wreaked havoc on professional and personal travel schedules across the globe.
Just 272 million employees kept their positions at the workplaces during the pandemic. Job losses at Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) were the worst hit, as they accounted for close to 80 percent of all businesses in the sector.
“If the global vaccine rollout continues at pace, and travel restrictions are relaxed just before the busy summer season, the 62 million jobs lost in 2020 could return by 2022,” the WTTC stated in its analysis.
The major lifeline
The travel and tourism industry is one of the major contributors to economic growth across the globe, generating one in four of all new jobs and accounting for 10.6 percent (334 million) of total employment prior to the COVID-19 outbreak in 2019.
The sector has also contributed almost $9.2 trillion to the global GDP.
Both international and domestic travel took the brunt resulting in a 69.4 percent and 45 percent decrease in overall spending respective to each segment. Contribution by the sector to the global GDP dipped by almost 50 percent to $4.7 trillion.
World’s leading strategic market researcher Euromonitor International expects the collective spending made by tourists in the UAE and across the globe to rise this year and return to pre-COVID levels by 2022, as long as mass vaccinations and testing will enable travel to resume safely.