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New economic modeling by World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) shows that 7.2 million jobs in the U.S. travel and tourism sector have been impacted due to COVID-19. If barriers to global travel continue, that figure could shoot up to 9.2 million affected jobs — roughly half of all jobs in the sector.
Last month, WTTC predicted that 174 million travel and tourism jobs could be lost in 2020 if barriers to global travel remain in place.
WTTC hopes to work closely with the new administration on a four-point plan that will resume international travel.
"Firstly, we would like to take this opportunity to congratulate President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and we wish them every success in these challenging times,” said Gloria Guevara, president and CEO of WTTC. “The U.S. government has a real opportunity to lead the international coordination and save millions of jobs globally and across the U.S. In 2019, travel and tourism was responsible for almost 17 million jobs, which is more than one in every 10 jobs across the U.S., so it’s vital we recover as many as possible to power the economic recovery of the country.”
Moving away from quarantines and implementing the practices that we know will work — chief among them rapid, reliable and efficient testing, the universal wearing of masks in public, and the use of contactless technologies — will help restore confidence and growth.
WTTC has identified four priorities for the new U.S. administration, including “the re-opening of air corridors on vital routes, especially those across the Atlantic to re-establish crucial business travel between major economic hubs.”
Other main priorities include implementing a standardized and trusted COVID-19 testing process for airport departures and committing to ensuring safe travel that employs enhanced hygiene measures and contactless touchpoints.
The last priority WTTC has outlined for the new administration is to “ensure international coordination to adopt standards that will allow international travel to restart and rebuild consumer confidence.”
“We offer to work closely with the U.S. government to recover international travel whilst avoiding transmission, through a four-point list of top priorities,” Guevara said. “We need to learn to co-exist with this virus and measures should be in place to reactivate both inbound and outbound travel responsibly and avoid further economic and social hardship.”
Roger Dow, U.S. Travel Association president and CEO, agrees that safely restarting global travel is a must from an economic standpoint.
“Moving away from quarantines and implementing the practices that we know will work — chief among them rapid, reliable and efficient testing, the universal wearing of masks in public, and the use of contactless technologies — will help restore confidence and growth,” Dow said.
The DetailsWorld Travel & Tourism Councilwww.wttc.org