Get Us in Your Inbox
Although the travel industry isn’t out of the woods yet, signs are pointing to a brighter future.
How bright, exactly? Well, that depends.
Under the best of conditions, the industry will welcome back up to 111 million travel jobs during a recovery period that starts in late March and grows as the summer season approaches, according to the latest economic forecast from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC). This outlook would hold only if certain conditions are met, such as widespread COVID-19 vaccination programs, comprehensive tracing and testing, vigilant mask wearing and cooperation between nations and the public and private sectors.
A more conservative forecast, on the other hand, delays recovery to the second half of 2021 and takes into consideration a set of bleaker circumstances — a year where vaccinations are rolled out gradually, travel barriers and restrictions are kept in place and consumer confidence in travel continues to dwindle. In this instance, only 84 million jobs would return.
RELATED: New Research From Agoda Looks at 2021 Travel Desires
Although both paths would see a notable improvement over 2020’s figures — when the COVID-19 pandemic jeopardized 174 million tourism jobs — this year’s projections will still trail 2019’s contribution to the global GDP by 17-27%.
Regardless of which outcome comes to fruition, WTTC’s research shows “hope on the horizon” for the global travel and tourism sector, according to Gloria Guevara, president and CEO of WTTC.
“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,” she said.
There is still a long way to go, and we will encounter many more bumps in the road ahead ... We cannot rely solely upon one solution.
However, she cautions against complacency, noting that recovery is not a “forgone conclusion” for 2021.
“There is still a long way to go, and we will encounter many more bumps in the road ahead,” she said. “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 safety protocols and recovering as many jobs as possible across travel and tourism, and throughout the wider economy.”
The DetailsWorld Travel & Tourism www.wttc.org