LONDON, UK — Here’s some good news from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) to kick off 2021: over 100 million jobs could return to the global Travel & Tourism sector this year as the world begins to recover from the pandemic.
According to WTTC’s latest economic forecast, a strong summer of travel is expected with many major travel companies reporting a significant rise in forward bookings.
“We are looking forward to a strong summer of travel, thanks to a combination of mask wearing, the global vaccination rollout and testing on departure unlocking the door to international travel once more,” said Gloria Guevara, WTTC President & CEO. “Our latest research supports this and shows there is definitely hope on the horizon for the global Travel & Tourism sector in the year ahead.”
WTTC first predicted the return of the sector through its 100 Million Jobs Recovery Plan, presented at last October’s historic G20 Tourism Ministers meeting, which was attended for the first time by 45 WTTC Member CEOs.
“Now we believe the sector’s return will become a reality, thanks in part to WTTC’s commitment and determination to save and support the sector through some of the darkest days of the pandemic.”
Last year during the height of the pandemic, WTTC warned 174 million global Travel & Tourism jobs were at risk. But in its latest analysis, its most optimistic scenario predicts as many as 111 million jobs could be revived. This, however, would still be 17% below 2019 figures, accounting for 54 million fewer jobs.
This best-case scenario, with travel recovery starting from late March, factors in widespread vaccination programs as well as a swift adoption of test-and-trace regimes and continued coordination from the private and public sectors.
The forecast’s more conservative outcome would still see a return of 84 million jobs but this would be 25% below 2019 levels, with 82 million fewer jobs recovered. Under this scenario, the recovery of international travel is pushed to the second half of 2021, with vaccines rolling out more gradually and slowing the removal of worldwide travel barriers and restrictions currently in place.
Added Guevara: “We must guard against complacency as the recovery is not a forgone conclusion. There is still a long way to go and we will encounter many more bumps in the rod ahead. 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.”