More than 62 million jobs were lost in the travel and tourism sectors globally in 2020, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).
The WTTC’s new Economic Impact Report (EIR) showed that the US lost a third of its travel and tourism jobs (5.4 million) last year with the sector’s contribution to GDP slumping by 41 per cent.
“Travel & Tourism plays a pivotal role in supplying both jobs and financial gains to the overall U.S. economy,” said Gloria Guevara, WTTC President & CEO.
“The industry’s decline due to the pandemic has been felt across the board for families, business owners, and tour operators who rely on a thriving sector for their livelihood.”
But Guevara added a note of optimism, saying that the restart of travel by mid-year would “empower a resurgence of the country’s economy”.
“Our research shows that if mobility and international travel resumes by summer this year, the sector’s contribution to global travel and tourism GDP could rise sharply in 2021,” she said.
The WTTC said that “the key to unlocking the sector by this summer, and in turn reviving millions of jobs, lies within a comprehensive testing regime for non-vaccinated travellers, mandatory mask wearing, and enhanced health and hygiene protocols across the board.”