WTTC calls for urgent action by G20 to save tourism industry 

Economic Impact Report: Tourism key to global economic recovery
2020-03-27
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/ Kolkata
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The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), which represents global travel & tourism private sector, has urged the G20 leaders to implement critical measures to save the travel & tourism industry in light of the coronavirus pandemic to prevent a catastrophic collapse of the industry putting up to 75 million jobs at immediate risk.

WTTC implored the G20 leaders to assign resources and coordinate efforts to rescue major travel businesses such as airlines, cruises, hotels, GDS and technology companies, as well as the SME’s, such as travel agents, tour operators, restaurants, independent workers and the entire supply chain, in order to save the jobs of the 330 million people who rely on travel & tourism for their livelihoods.

Gloria Guevara, the WTTC president & CEO, said, “The coronavirus pandemic has put the sector in unprecedented danger of collapse, which is looking increasingly likely unless a global rescue package is agreed to bolster what has become the backbone of the global economy.”

According to WTTC’s 2019 research, Saudi Arabia’s new tourism strategy made it the fastest growing and best performer. A growth of 14 pc in travel & tourism, contributed 9.5 pc, including direct, indirect and induced impacts, to the Kingdom’s total economy, supporting 1.45 million jobs (11.2 pc of the country’s total).

WTTC in its annual Economic Impact Report for 2020 reveals that this vital sector was responsible for generating one in four of all new jobs globally in 2019 and will have a crucial part to play in powering the global recovery. “It is therefore of paramount importance that the G20 take urgent action now to preserve the 75 million jobs at immediate risk, which would represent a crushing travel & tourism GDP loss to the world economy of up to USD 2.1 trillion in 2020 alone,” Gloria added.

“A determined and decisive action by the G20 could reverse this, save millions from misery, and bolster one of the main engines of future economic growth. On behalf of millions of families and businesses, large and small around the world, we implore the G20 to take this vital step. We also recognise the efforts from all G20 countries in supporting a sector that alleviates poverty, provides the opportunity, especially for women and the youth, and is an engine for growth,” she stated.

The importance of the travel & tourism sector for aiding the world economic recovery is revealed in WTTC’s latest Economic Impact Report, which shows that throughout 2019, the sector supported one in 10 jobs (330 million), making a 10.3 pc contribution to global GDP and generating a quarter of all new jobs. The travel & tourism sector also outperformed the 2.5 pc rate of global GDP growth, thanks to an annual GDP growth rate of 3.5 pc.

A breakdown by WTTC shows the Asia Pacific to be the top-performing region worldwide with a growth rate of 5.5 pc, followed by the Middle East at 5.3 pc. The U.S. demonstrated a growth rate of 3.4 pc and the EU 2.4 pc. However, the country showing the best performance was Saudi Arabia, growing four times than the global average.

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