A total of €161 billion financial loss and 46.9 percent decrease in contribution to GDP in Germany’s travel and tourism sector last year have resulted from the Coronavirus pandemic outbreak, due to which international travel has frozen for over 13 months now, causing a devastating situation for this sector, among others.

In addition, the crisis provoked by the deadly virus last year left 441,000 persons engaged in the travel and tourism sector across the country jobless, facing a difficult situation, VisaGuide.World reports.

Such figures, which have been revealed by World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC)’s Economic Impact Report (EIR) on April 8, “have left huge numbers of people fearing for the future,” according to WTTC President & CEO Gloria Guevara.

“The loss of more than 440,000 Travel & Tourism jobs across Germany has had a devastating socio-economic impact, leaving huge numbers of people fearing for their future,” Guevara pointed out in this regard.

In 2019, the travel and tourism sector impact on the country’s GDP was €344 billion (9.8 percent), marking a significant decrease in 2020,  to €183 billion (5.5 percent), due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

The number of women, youth as well as minorities employed in the country’s travel and tourism sector decreased from 5.87 million in 2019 to 5.43 million in 2020, marking a  total 7. 5 percent decrease.

Besides, domestic visitor spending fell by 47.3 percent last year, while international spending marked a more profound decrease of 57.9 percent due to travel bans and other restrictions imposed by governments of countries worldwide to halt the spread of the COVID-19.

However, the “bright side” is that the figures could have been worse if German authorities did not introduce job-saving Kurzarbeit. This plan helped short-term lifeline to workers and businesses, WTTC  has emphasized in its report.

In addition,  441,000 jobs lost in the travel and tourism sector in Germany last year could return by the end of this year if more people take vaccines against the disease and countries start to ease the imposed restrictions for travel, according to Gloria Guevara.

 “After a slow and frustrating start, there are now grounds for optimism if Germany’s vaccine rollout continues at pace, with family doctors across the country now beginning to administer jabs to the general public,” WTTC President & CEO pointed out.

She stressed the World Travel and Tourism Council believes that international travel resumption could prevent terrible losses that could happen through this year.

Guevara said that, based on the WTTC research, if international travel resumes by June this year, the travel and tourism sector’s contribution to the country’s GDP could reach 2019’s levels by 2022.

WTTC believes that Digital Green Certificates, which at present have already been launched by some European countries, would further enable safe international travel, even though Germany has reservations in this regard.

The country’s Chancellor Angela Merkel previously stressed that she doubts that the vaccine certificate could bring any facilities.

“First, it must be clearly resolved that vaccinated people are no longer infectious,” Merkel had stressed.

The World Travel and Tourism Council has urged governments many times since the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic to find alternatives to their entry bans and other restrictions to facilitate the travel process and prevent other financial crises.