WTTC Projects 2M U.S. Jobs Could Be Created This Year Should International Travel Resume This Summer

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WTTC Projects 2M U.S. Jobs Could Be Created This Year Should International Travel Resume This Summer

The latest research compiled by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), reveals that more than two million jobs could be created if international travel reopens before the busy summer period. 

However, if current restrictions continue and international travel is not allowed to resume at a greater capacity over the next few months, WTTC warns that the potential U.S. job recovery will be cut in half, to only one million generated.

WTTC’s latest economic modeling found that $105 billion in the U.S.’s Travel & Tourism sector contribution to the national economy is at stake should travel not resume. 

WTTC fears that if immediate steps are not taken for the U.S. to re-establish international travel now, the impact on the economy and the livelihoods of millions of those who work in the sector could be devastating.

Virginia Messina, WTTC Senior Vice President, said: “The EU looks set to launch its Digital COVID Certificate later this month, a move that will allow vaccinated travelers to visit the bloc. This new measure holds the potential to unlock international travel, and should the U.S. not follow suit by loosening travel restrictions this summer, the continued closures could have a lasting negative impact on jobs within Travel & Tourism, the sector’s contribution to the GDP, and delay the country’s economic recovery.

“Furthermore, with the incredibly successful vaccine rollout in both the U.S and UK, along with similarly low infection rates in the two countries, now is the time to safely reopen transatlantic travel, a move that would provide a significant boost to both economies.”

Despite the increase in travel across the U.S., the region will experience significant financial ramifications by prolonging strict travel limitations.

With nearly 40% of Americans fully vaccinated and new COVID cases across the U.S. the lowest they have been in 11 months, consumer confidence in booking and planning getaways has strengthened. 

“Travelers in the U.S. are eager to reunite with family members and friends around the world. The country should be taking advantage of its successful vaccine rollout to restore international mobility safely. With the U.S. being the largest contributor to the global Travel & Tourism economy, the country’s recovery plays an important role in the rebound of the global sector.”

According to WTTC’s recent Economic Impact Report (EIR), Travel & Tourism jobs within the U.S. declined by a third in 2020 (33.2%), equating to 5.51 million jobs. 

While these job losses were felt across the entire Travel & Tourism ecosystem, as one of the world’s most diverse sectors, the impact on women, youth and minorities over the past year has been significant.

“While WTTC applauds the CDC’s efforts to continue to update health and safety guidelines as more of the population is vaccinated, we need to see a clear and detailed roadmap on July 4, to reopen international travel with rapid testing for non-vaccinated travelers only, alongside health and hygiene measures. These measures can save a sector and the millions of livelihoods that depend on it.”

Despite the economic downturn of the past year, the U.S. has maintained its lead as the largest Travel & Tourism contributor in the global sector. WTTC warns the continuing lack of international travel could threaten the United States’ position as the world’s premier hub for business and leisure travel, as Europe and additional regions around the world begin to re-open.

“Staycations and domestic travel cannot fill the enormous financial hole left by the collapse of international travel and the trickle-down benefits it has across the supply chain. While protecting public health is the number one priority, if the government continues its overly cautious approach, hundreds of thousands more jobs could be lost, and many businesses related to Travel & Tourism will not survive.”

The global tourism body has continued to argue that travel can safely resume through rapid and cost-effective testing, coupled with enhanced health and hygiene measures, mask wearing throughout the traveler journey alongside the successful vaccination rollout.