Up to 180,000 jobs could be lost across the UK travel and tourism sector if Covid restrictions return this winter.
Potential changes could include more border restrictions and measures to force all travelers to a booster jab before traveling overseas, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council.
The warning was issued by Julia Simpson, President and CEO of WTTC, during the Tourism Alliance 2021 conference aimed at rebuilding the hotly contested UK sector.
Further harm could arise if new restrictions are imposed, such as plans to get a booster jab for all travelers before going abroad. Recent reports suggest that this is being considered by ministers to increase protection from Covid-19 for those who are fully vaccinated.
Currently only available to those over 50, so far less than 20 percent of the UK population has received the booster vaccination. This represents a minority of those able to travel, and such a move would in turn prevent millions of people from going abroad, which would have enormous economic implications.
If sweeping restrictions were enforced in 2022, such as restricting travel to only those with the booster jab, more than half a million jobs could be at stake.
Ms. Simpson said: “The very real prospect that more than 500,000 people across the UK travel and tourism sector will lose their jobs due to unnecessary restrictions is a major problem. We cannot afford to fall behind and undo all of the hard-earned advances we have made this year. Too many people’s livelihoods are at risk, as is the UK’s continued economic recovery. “
Last year, WTTC research found 307,000 jobs were lost in the travel and tourism sectors. In addition, a recent report by WTTC showed how tough restrictions previously imposed by the UK government, such as the harmful traffic light system, reduced the drop in international visitor spending by nearly 50 percent from 2020 figures, making the country one of the most popular Worst performing countries in Europe make the world.
The global tourism organization fears the UK economy will lose up to $ 21.7 billion in losses.
She proposes further measures that would have a massive impact on the travel and tourism sector and make the UK less attractive to travelers.
Another analysis claims the government could cut up to £ 5.3 billion from the sector’s contribution to the economy before the end of 2021 if tough travel restrictions return.
You can find more stories from where you live at Near you.