How the COVID-19 Pandemic is affecting the Travel Industry
According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, the Coronavirus pandemic, known as COVID-19, puts at risk up to 50 million workers in the global travel and tourism market. The Council has said that travel is expected to decline by a quarter this year.
This effect will depend on how long the epidemic continues and may also be intensified by recent restrictive measures, such as those taken by world leaders across the globe.
About 850,000 people fly every month from Europe to the United States, which is equal to a $3.4 billion monthly contribution to the U.S. economy.
Loss of Jobs
Of the 50 million jobs that could be lost, about 30 million will be lost in Asia, seven million in Europe, five million in the Americas and the rest in other continents.
The equivalent of a three-month loss of global travel by 2020 could lead to corresponding job losses of between 12% and 14%. The WTTC is also calling on policymakers to eliminate or simplify visas wherever possible, minimize travel taxes and provide incentives once the COVID-19 pandemic is under control.
The council also encouraged flexibility in the sector so that travelers could delay and not cancel their plans.
Airlines and cruise ships are actually more affected by the sector than hotels as the tourism industry accounts for 10% of the world’s GDP and employment.
The WTTC defended the isolation of certain cities – as is currently happening in Italy and Spain – when health officials suggest the containment of the pandemic, but only in specific areas or for certain age groups.
According to the council, once the COVID-19 pandemic is under control, it will take up to 10 months for the tourism sector to return to normal levels.
What are we expecting?
The estimated fall of between 20-30% could result in a decrease in international tourism receipts (exports) of between US $300-450 billion, nearly one-third of the US $1.5 trillion produced in 2019.
Taking into account past industry dynamics, this would mean that between five and seven years of growth would be lost to COVID-19.
Putting this in perspective, in 2009, at the back of the global economic crisis, international tourist arrivals decreased by 4%, although the SARS outbreak contributed to a fall of just 0.4% in 2003.
What are we doing amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic?
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About Sabre Corporation
Sabre Corporation is the leading technology provider to the global travel industry. Sabre’s software, data, mobile and distribution solutions are used by hundreds of airlines and thousands of hotel properties to manage critical operations, including passenger and guest reservations, revenue management, flight, network, and crew management. Sabre also operates a leading global travel marketplace, which processes more than US$120 billion of global travel spend annually by connecting travel buyers and suppliers. Headquartered in Southlake, Texas, USA, Sabre serves customers in more than 160 countries around the world.