The travel industry is experiencing big drops as the corona-virus outbreak continues. Alisa Wolfson, a writer who works at U.S Weekly, interviewed a travel agent with over 40 years of experience in the industry says that she never experienced a cancellation surge since the 1970s and it’s all because of the COVID-19. The travel agent says she had seen the travel industry evolve and experienced various epidemics, plane crashes, equipment issues and etc, she thought she’d seen it all until this outbreak started.
Since January, as the virus continues to grow and spread throughout the globe, there has been a big drop and huge impact to travel industry as car rental reservation down to 60 percent, airlines worldwide raised more than $17 billion in bank loans in March to shore up the finances amid the corona-virus outbreak, travel destinations and tourists attractions were closed and most of the countries are under lockdown to prevent the rapid spread of the virus. Travel industries now had nothing to do to cope up with this crisis, a lot of travel agents have no choice but to accept cancellations as they consider the safety of the clients and no airlines would continue the flights.
What does this mean to the travel industry and to the economy? It means a huge loss of revenue, the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) would cut 50 million jobs worldwide in the travel and tourism industry and it currently accounts for 10% of GDP (Gross Domestic Product). The proofs would be seen in WTTC’s statement, Virginia Messina, the managing director of WTTC states that around 850,000 people travel each month from Europe to the United States and it is an equivalent to $3.4 million contributions monthly to the US. Asia is expected to be the worst affected as 30 million jobs could lose, 7 million in Europe, 5 million in the US and 8 million to other continents with the total reduction of 50 million jobs, with that, the travel industry and economy will surely drop. Its equivalent would be a loss of 3 months of global travel in 2020 that could lead to the corresponding reduction of jobs between 12% and 14%.
“In the industry, the airlines and cruise ships were being more affected than hotels as the lockdown continues, the industries will continue to drop until it was so hard to recover from the loss”, she added. In the estimation, once the outbreak is over and is under control, it would take up to at least 10 months for the tourism and travel industry to return to its normal levels.