The United States’ travel and tourism sector risk losing a total of 9.2 million jobs by the end of this year if the worldwide imposed travel bans remain in place, the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) has revealed.

The estimation comes after WTTC’s recent economic modelling, which has been mainly focused on the impact of the current Coronavirus disease on the travel and tourism sector, which is among the most affected ones by the deadly virus, VisaGuide.World reports.

As for now, the Coronavirus pandemic has affected 7.2 million jobs in the United States, while the extending of travel bans and other restrictions risks to affect as many as 9.2 million jobs if the authorities do not act quickly.

According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, there are four key priorities that the new US administration should take into account:

  • The opening of “air corridors” on crucial routes, especially the roads across the Atlantic, in order to establish business travel
  • The implementation of testing regimes at airports in order to avoid the transmission of the virus during the in-flights
  • The enhancing of health and hygiene measures and contactless touchpoints in order to ensure safe travel
  • Ensure international coordination in order to adopt standards which would permit international travel to restart and rebuild consumer confidence

Travel and Tourism brought $1.84 to the US economy in 2019. At the same time, 17 million jobs – more than one in every ten jobs in America – derived from this sector (10.7 per cent), the WTTC Economic Impact Report for 2019 stresses.

“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. The US government has a real opportunity to lead international coordination and save millions of jobs globally, and across the US,” WTTC President & CEO,  Gloria Guevara has pointed out.

Guevara stressed that Travel and Tourism is one of the most diverse industries, which has been employing people from all socio-economic backgrounds. According to her, 50 per cent of persons who work in this sector are women, and up to 30 per cent are youngsters.

WTTC President & CEO  stressed that the Council offers to work closely with the US government to recover international travel whilst avoiding transmission. Such a plan could be revived through the four-point list of priorities.

WTTC researches revealed that between 10.8 million and 13.8 million jobs within Travel and Tourism are at serious risk across North America.

“The numbers show that restarting global travel is an absolute must from an economic and jobs standpoint, and it can be done safely by embracing health and safety guidance and technologies, which have been widely deployed across the travel industry,” US Travel Association President and CEO, Roger Dow stressed.

The report of the World Travel and Tourism Council highlighted that during 2019, the travel and tourism sector accounted for one in 10 jobs (330 million in total), or a 10.3 per cent contribution to global GDP.

Last month, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) stressed that the risk of contracting the COVID-19 disease while onboard is low, highlighting that since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been reported only 44 cases of infections related with a flight journey, from 1.2 billion trips that have been completed.

IATA also urged authorities in the United States to lift quarantine requirements and apply a pre-departure COVID-19  testing regime instead, to help families reunite for the end-of-the-year holiday season.