The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) is calling on greater support for the travel industry as a staggering one million jobs are being lost every day in the industry due to the sweeping effect of the coronavirus pandemic.
WTTC says small and medium-sized businesses at every level within travel and tourism, such as tour operators, travel agents and sole-traders, are especially vulnerable.
For this reason, the WTTC has called for countries to urgently do more to intervene to make clearer how businesses can access potentially life-saving loans, and tax breaks, to prevent them from imminent collapse.
WTTC is mindful that while the travel and tourism sector is facing an economic meltdown the coronavirus pandemic is primarily a global health disaster.
“While the priority for governments is to keep people safe, this global health catastrophe means a million people a day in the travel and tourism industry alone are losing their jobs and facing potential ruin due to the disastrous impact of the coronavirus pandemic”.
Gloria Guevara, WTTC President & CEO
“It is heartbreaking that the livelihoods of millions of people who have dedicated their lives to the travel and tourism sector are being decimated; from waiters to taxi drivers, guides to chefs and caterers, pilots to cleaners”.
“Businesses large and small are being forced to rip up their three-year plans and focus on a three-month fight for survival on a daily basis, while people’s jobs are wiped out hour by hour,’ Gloria said.
Earlier this week, WTTC announced a three-point plan for governments to take to combat the devastating effect of Covid-19. This comprised:
- Protect the salaries, incomes and jobs of the millions of people who are at risk
- Extend vital, unlimited interest-free loans to provide liquidity to large and small Travel & Tourism businesses to prevent them from collapse
- Waive or remove all dues, taxes or fiscal charges for 12 months that affect cash flow which can be critical to businesses survival.
Gloria Guevara said the WTTC fear the situation will only deteriorate unless more action is taken immediately by governments to address it.
“While some governments have been quick to respond with promises of help, the majority of businesses still have no idea how to access these potentially life-saving loans and tax breaks,” she said.
“Today we call on governments around the world to make crystal clear how businesses can access funds, which can prevent the hemorrhage of jobs throughout the travel and tourism sector.”
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