Cruise tourists disembark onto the Port Royal pier. (File photo)

COVID-19 puts 50 million travel and tourism jobs at risk — WTTC

Cruise tourists disembark onto the Port Royal pier. (File photo)

Some 50 million travel and tourism jobs could be lost due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Passengers wearing protective masks walk through the arrival hall at West Kowloon Station, operated by MTR Corp., in Hong Kong, China, on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020.

Further, international travel could be reduced by up to 25 per this year, the loss of three months travel, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).

President and CEO of the WTTC, Gloria Guevara, said “WTTC figures show the stark impact on the travel and tourism sector of the present COVID-19 outbreak with analysis now suggesting that up to 50 million jobs are at risk in the sector globally.”

Fifty million jobs are at risk as a result of reduced travel expected to be cut by a quarter.

The WTTC figures suggest that the reduction in travel could lead to job loss of between 12 and 14 per cent.

Guevara said “The COVID-19 outbreak clearly presents a significant threat to the industry as a whole, to those employed within it, and those wishing to continue travelling.”

She added that “Travel and Tourism has the strength to overcome this challenge and will emerge stronger and more robust by taking all necessary measures to tackle COVID-19 and the understandable concern which surrounds it.”

Dozens of people were confirmed with the novel coronavirus about this cruise ship that was quarantined in Japan.

To enable the swift recovery of the sector once the virus is controlled, Guevara said the WTTC has consulted with other similar organisations on a series of measures to guide next steps.

The WTTC will support governments that implement strong policies that foster recovery such as removing unnecessary barriers, removing or simplifying visas where possible, introducing incentives and reducing or removing travellers’ taxes.

The organisation said the sector has a “proven track record of resilience in the face of crises and this ability to bounce back has improved significantly in recent years.”