COVID-19 poses risk for 75M jobs in tourism sector

Some 75 million jobs are at risk in the global tourism sector due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, the (WTTC) said on Wednesday.

"The alarming figure, based on research from WTTC, shows a punishing Travel & Tourism GDP loss to the world economy of up to US$2.1 trillion in 2020," according to a press release.

In the sector, one million people currently lose their jobs each day, the association said.

The WTTC noted that the highest effect of the virus is expected to be seen in the Asia-Pacific region, causing up to a loss of 49 million jobs.

"The latest figures also suggest that in Europe, up to 10 million jobs in travel and tourism are at risk," it added.

The association stressed that travel and tourism sector will face an "economic meltdown" in the coming days.

"Not only will this have an enormous negative impact on major businesses in the travel and tourism sector around the world, the 'domino effect' will also result in massive job losses across the entire supply chain, hitting employees and those in self-employment," the press release read.

After first appearing in Wuhan, China last December, the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19 has spread to at least 171 countries and territories. The World Health Organization has declared the outbreak a pandemic.

The number of confirmed cases worldwide has now surpassed 438,700 while the death toll is over 19,600 and more than 111,800 have recovered, according to data compiled by the U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.

Despite the rising number of cases, most who contract the virus suffer only mild symptoms before making a recovery.

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