GLOBAL travel and tourism risks losing up to 75 million jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Research from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) shows a 50 per cent increase in jobs at immediate risk in the industry and exposes the depth of the crisis in the UK with up to one million jobs at risk, leading to a total GDP loss of more than £52.2 billion ($61bn).

It also shows a “punishing” travel and tourism GDP loss to the world economy of up to $2.1 trillion in 2020.

The London-based organisation, which represents the global travel and tourism private sector, said the growing job losses were affecting every level of the industry and gathering pace as countries go into lockdown to tackle the virus.

Gloria Guevara, WTTC president and chief executive, warned that “unless urgent action is taken within the next few days, the travel and tourism sector faces an economic meltdown from which it will struggle to recover and plunge

millions of people

dependent upon it for their livelihoods into debt”.

Ms Guevara, describing the loss of millions of jobs as “chilling”, pointed to a collective delay by many governments around the world to react quickly enough to come to the aid of a sector

that is the “backbone of the global economy”.

She said: “Not only will this have an enormous negative impact on major businesses in the 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 analysis reveals that, while Europe is the third most heavily impacted global market, WTTC figures show Asia Pacific’s travel and tourism sector continues

to suffer the brunt of the coronavirus outbreak.

According to the WTTC, Germany is set to be the most affected country in Europe, with almost 1.6 million jobs at risk, followed by Russia with an estimated 1.1 million job losses. Italy and the UK areboth follow as the third most impacted. Each is countries projected to lose up to one million jobs in the sector.