Dubai: Each passing day of suppressed demand for air travel and hotel stays could lead to 174 million travel and tourism related job losses this year. Looking at it differently, this is a slight improvement on the 197 million jobs that were rated as being at risk when the first forecasts came out in June after the pandemic struck the industry.
The revised numbers came about only because of air travel demand being generated on domestic routes in countries such as China.
The World Travel & Tourism Council, which came out with the forecasts, pins the blame on the usual reasons – the heavy restrictions most countries have in place on travel.
“As travel restrictions around the world remained in place over the summer months, our estimates report an increase from 121 million to 143 million jobs lost,” said WTTC in a statement. “In the space of just four months, our study has shown a further 22 million jobs under threat worldwide. This is devastating news, and we need international coordinated action now.”
If the current travel restrictions are removed sooner, some 31 million jobs could be saved by the end of the year.
The global aviation industry has been calling for governments to ease up on quarantine measures and instead focus all their efforts on strict testing of passengers before the board the lights. This way, the industry reckons, demand stands a much better chance of bouncing back.