The global travel and tourism industry is on course to lose 174 MN jobs this year if current restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus remain in place, a leading industry group warned Friday.
While alarming, the projection from the World Travel & Tourism Council was lower than previously expected, largely because of a strong recovery in domestic travel in China and rebounds in other countries. In June, the council warned that there could be 197 MN job losses worldwide in a sector that many nations are hugely reliant on economically.
Restrictions on travel imposed when the pandemic erupted this year effectively banned flights from abroad and closed down the hospitality sectors in many countries.
China, where COVID-19 first emerged, has since managed to contain the virus better than most nations and has reopened large parts of its economy, helped in part by widespread virus testing at airports alongside health and hygiene protocols.
Lockdown restrictions have been eased around the world, but the number of travelers is way down, partly because many countries require visitors to quarantine themselves for a number of days upon the arrival.
There are fears that the resurgence of the virus, particularly in Europe, will further hit the sector. The World Travel & Tourism Council said prolonged travel restrictions could eliminate USD 4.7 TR in the sector's contribution to global GDP this year, a 53 percent reduction from 2019.
“The sector's recovery will be delayed even further, with more jobs lost, unless quarantines are replaced with rapid, cost-effective testing at airports on departure, and air corridors," WTTC President and CEO Gloria Guevara shared in a press release.
“The longer we wait, the more the ailing travel and tourism sector faces total collapse,” she added.
Oil & Gas is another industry, which is expected to shed more jobs this year. Exxon Mobil Corp said it will cut its workforce by 15 percent, or about 14,000 people, along with oil majors Chevron Corp and Royal Dutch Shell.
All told, more than 400,000 oil and gas sector jobs have been cut this year, according to Rystad Energy, with about half of those in the United States, where several big exploration companies and most large oil service companies are headquartered.