London, UK: World tourism leaders have been urged to execute crucial measures to save the Travel & Tourism sector, ahead of a special meeting of the G20 hosted by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia today.
The call was made by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), which represents the global Travel & Tourism private sector, to prevent a catastrophic collapse following the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, putting up to 75 million jobs at immediate risk.
WTTC implored the G20 leaders to assign resources and coordinate efforts to rescue major travel businesses such as airlines, cruises, hotels, GDS and technology companies, as well as the SME’s, such as travel agents, tour operators, restaurants, independent workers and the entire supply chain, in order to save the jobs of the 330 million people who rely on Travel & Tourism for their livelihoods.
WTTC welcomes the special virtual meeting, hosted by His Royal Highness King Salman of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which takes place as WTTC releases its latest annual Economic Impact Report.
According to WTTC’s 2019 research, Saudi Arabia’s new tourism strategy has made it the fastest growing and best performer. A growth of 14% in Travel & Tourism, contributed 9.5%, including direct, indirect and induced impacts, to the Kingdom’s total economy, supporting 1.45m jobs (11.2% of the country’s total).
Gloria Guevara, WTTC President & CEO, said: “We thank the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for its outstanding leadership and commitment by prioritising the development of Travel & Tourism with extraordinary results in a short time frame. We hope that with its leadership and recognition of the Travel & Tourism sector, which contributes to one in 10 jobs in the planet, the Kingdom under its Presidency, will work with the largest economies of the world to implement critical measures for its survival.”
“The coronavirus pandemic has put the sector in unprecedented danger of collapse, which is looking increasingly likely unless a global rescue package is agreed to bolster what has become the backbone of the global economy.
“WTTC’s Economic Impact Report for 2020 reveals that this vital sector was responsible for generating one in four of all new jobs globally in 2019 and will have a crucial part to play in powering the global recovery.
“It is therefore of paramount importance that the G20 take urgent action now to preserve the 75 million jobs at immediate risk, which would represent a crushing Travel & Tourism GDP loss to the world economy of up to US$2.1 trillion in 2020 alone.
“A determined and decisive action by the G20 could reverse this, save millions from misery, and bolster one of the main engines of future economic growth. On behalf of millions of families and businesses, large and small around the world, we implore the G20 to take this vital step. We also recognise the efforts from all G20 countries in supporting a sector that alleviates poverty, provides opportunity, especially for women and the youth, and is an engine for growth.”
The importance of the Travel & Tourism sector for aiding the world economic recovery is revealed in WTTC’s latest Economic Impact Report, which shows that throughout 2019 the sector supported one in 10 jobs (330 million), making a 10.3% contribution to global GDP and generating a quarter, one in four, of all new jobs.
The Travel & Tourism sector also outperformed the 2.5% rate of global GDP growth, thanks to an annual GDP growth rate of 3.5%.
A breakdown by WTTC shows Asia Pacific to be the top performing region worldwide with a growth rate of 5.5%, followed by the Middle East at 5.3%. The US and EU both demonstrated a growth rate of 2.3%.
However, the country showing the best performance was Saudi Arabia, growing four times than the global average.
Download the press release here.