MADRID, Mar 13 (Reuters) – The coronavirus epidemic is putting up to 50 million jobs at risk in the global tourism sector, and travel is likely to drop 25% this year, with Asia as the most affected continent, he said on Friday the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).
The impact will depend on how long the epidemic lasts and could be exacerbated by recent restrictive measures, such as those by the US government to travel from Europe, WTTC managing director Virginia Messina told Reuters.
“Some measures are not helping and may make the economic impact much more significant,” Messina said, referring to the United States’ decision.
Messina said the measures are too generic and have not been shown to be effective in containing the virus and could complicate medical expert travel and delivery of supplies.
About 850,000 people travel each month from Europe to the United States, which equates to a monthly contribution of $ 3.4 billion to the American economy, Messina said.
Of the 50 million jobs that could be lost, around 30 million are in Asia, seven million in Europe, five million in America and the rest on other continents.
The equivalent of a three-month loss of global travel in 2020 could mean a reduction in jobs of between 12% and 14%, the WTTC said.
By sector, airlines and cruises were being more affected than hotels, added the official. The tourism industry represents 10% of the GDP and jobs in the world.
(Report by Joan Faus Edited in Spanish by Javier López de Lérida)