Top News WTTC projects over 100m tourism jobs recovered in 2021 By TTG Asia / Posted on 20 January, 2021 13:17 Strong summer holiday bookings on the back of global vaccination rollout and widespread pre-departure testing could see more than 100 million jobs return to the global travel and tourism sector this year, according to an optimistic projection by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC). As the sector begins its road to post-pandemic recovery from late March onwards, a strong summer of travel is expected, with many major travel companies reporting a significant rise in forward bookings. Besides vaccination, testing on departure will still be critical to restore international travel, says WTTC The sector’s revival is backed by WTTC’s latest economic forecast. Last year, during the height of the pandemic, WTTC warned 174 million global travel and tourism jobs were at risk. However, in its latest analysis, WTTC’s most optimistic scenario predicts as many as 111 million jobs could be revived – but this would still be 17 per cent below 2019 figures, accounting for 54 million fewer jobs. This best-case scenario, with travel recovery starting from late March, factors in widespread vaccination programmes and a swift adoption of comprehensive test-and-trace regimes, together with continual, strong international coordination from the private and public sectors. A more conservative projection would still see a return of 84 million jobs, but this would be 25 per cent below 2019 levels, with 82 million fewer jobs recovered. Under this scenario, the recovery of international travel is pushed to 2H2021. Vaccines would be rolled out more gradually, slowing down the removal of worldwide travel barriers and restrictions currently in place, while depressing demand to travel and reducing consumer confidence. Gloria Guevara, WTTC president & CEO, said: “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. “Our latest research supports this and shows there is definitely hope on the horizon for the global travel and tourism sector in the year ahead, with the possible recovery of up to 111 million jobs. “This projected outcome will come as a huge relief and be welcomed as the beginning of the long-awaited recovery, for a sector which has for so long suffered the brunt of hugely damaging travel restrictions.” The new research also revealed that in the best-case scenario, travel and tourism’s contribution to global GDP will fall 17 per cent compared to 2019 figures, to US$7.4 trillion. And in the more conservative outcome, with a slower recovery, the sector’s contribution will drop by more than one quarter (27 per cent), to US$6.5 trillion.