More than 100 million jobs could return to the global travel and tourism sector in 2021, as the world heads into recovery from Covid-19.
According to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), a strong summer of travel is expected as the sector begins its road to recovery from late March onwards, with many travel companies reporting a “significant” rise in forward bookings.
Last year, the WTTC warned that 174 million global travel and tourism jobs were at risk, but in its latest analysis, the “most optimistic” scenario predicts as many as 111 million jobs could be revived.
This would still be 17% below 2019 figures, however, accounting for 54 million fewer jobs.
The research also revealed that in the best-case scenario, travel and tourism’s contribution to global GDP will fall only 17% to $7.4tn (£5.3tn). WTTC believes this is achievable with testing on departure, mandatory mask wearing and the worldwide implementation of vaccination programmes.
A more “conservative” scenario would see the sector’s contribution drop by more than one quarter (27%), to $6.5tn (£4.7tn), however.
Gloria Guevara, president and CEO for WTTC commented that the group’s latest research supports the prediction of a summer of travel and shows there is definitely hope on the horizon for the global travel and tourism sector in the year ahead.
She said: “The projected outcome will come as huge relief and will be welcomed as the beginning of the long-awaited recovery, for a sector which has suffered the brunt of hugely damaging travel restrictions.
“There is still a long way to go and we will encounter many more bumps in the road ahead. Vaccinations in major source markets, such as the UK and the U.S., will help us navigate our way out of the pandemic into a world where travel can once again thrive.”
She added: “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.”