WTTC Recovery Scenarios 2020 & Economic Impact from COVID-19

WTTC in partnership with Oxford Economics undertake regular analysis to demonstrate the vital importance of travel and tourism to economies around the world, and in this instance the findings from three scenarios are presented to highlight both the scale of decline but equally the opportunity to minimise that decline with coordinated action. 

The impact on travel and tourism jobs in 2020 is estimated to be a reduction of between 98 million (upside scenario) and 198 million (downside scenario) while travel and tourism GDP losses is set to range between $2,686bn and $5,543bn. 

Having been conducted in June the analysis underpinning the ‘best case’ scenario assumed inter-continental travel would start to resume from August and that overall global travel would decline by 40% in 2020, whereas latest UNWTO analysis tends to indicate this decline will likely be close to 70% which aligns closely with the WTTC ‘downside’ scenario.  

While recent weeks would indicate an absence of the building blocks needed for recovery the report highlights what these would be, including a reduction in the infection rate, extensive and consistent testing and tracing, travel corridors, removal of travel advisories and continued government support for the sector. 

On a regional basis the ‘downside’ scenario for Europe (the likelihood of which will have risen since June) suggests a 29.5 million reduction in travel and tourism jobs in 2020 with a commensurate $1,608bn fall in travel and tourism GDP.  In terms of visitor numbers under the downside scenario Europe is forecast to see a 78% decline in international and 75% decline in domestic arrivals. 

The accompanying infographics are helpful in providing not just results from the analysis but also demonstrating the contribution that travel and tourism made to jobs and GDP in 2019, for Europe this being 37.1 million jobs and $2,018bn of GDP.