The annual Economic Impact Report reveals the full impact of Covid-19 on global travel and tourism
The devastating impact Covid-19 has had on the global travel and tourism sector amounts to losses of almost US$4.5 trillion.
The annual EIR from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) shows the sector’s contribution to GDP dropped 49.1 per cent, this compared to the overall global economy which dropped by just 3.7 per cent last year.
Altogether, the sector’s contribution to global GDP plummeted to US$4.7 trillion in 2020 (5.5 per cent of the global economy), from nearly US$9.2 trillion the previous year (10.4 per cent).
In 2019, travel and tourism generated one in four of all new jobs around the world and contributed 10.6 per cent (334 million) jobs globally.
However, last year, more than 62 million jobs were lost, representing a drop of 18.5 per cent, leaving just 272 million employed across the industry globally.
SMEs, which make up 80 per cent of all businesses in the sector, were particularly affected. WTTC reported on how the impact on women, youth and minorities was significant.
Gloria Guevara, WTTC President & CEO, said: “We must praise the prompt action of governments around the world for saving so many jobs and livelihoods at risk, thanks to various retention schemes, without which today’s figures would be far worse.
“However, WTTC’s annual Economic Impact Report shows the full extent of the pain our sector has had to endure over the past 12 months, which has needlessly devastated so many lives and businesses, large and small.
“Clearly no one wants to go through what so many have had to suffer during the past difficult 12 months. WTTC research shows the global Travel & Tourism sector alone has been devastated, burdened by an unprecedented loss of almost US$4.5 trillion.
“With the sector’s contribution to GDP plunging by almost half, it’s more important than ever that travel and tourism is given the support needed so it can help power the economic recovery, which will be instrumental in enabling the world to revive from the effects of the pandemic.”