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World Travel and Tourism Council: Dramatic collapse of Italy, French tourism sector

Christian Fernsby |
The World Travel and Tourism Council’s annual Economic Impact Report (EIR) reveals that the dramatic collapse of Italy’s Travel and Tourism sector has wiped out a staggering €120.6 billion from the nation’s economy.

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The annual EIR from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), which represents the global Travel and Tourism private sector, shows the sector’s impact on GDP dropped 51%.

Following three consecutive years in which the Travel and Tourism sector’s growth outpaced that of the overall economy, its contribution to the nation’s GDP fell from €236 billion (13.1%) in 2019, to €116 billion (7%), just 12 months later, in 2020.

The year of damaging travel restrictions which brought much of international travel to a grinding halt, resulted in the loss of 337,000 Travel and Tourism jobs across the country.

WTTC believes the true picture could have been significantly worse, if not for the government’s job retention schemes, which offered a lifeline to thousands of businesses and workers. However, this is hiding the real extent of the losses and the devastating social impact they could bring.

These job losses were felt across the entire Travel and Tourism ecosystem in the country, with SMEs, which make up eight out of 10 of all global businesses in the sector, particularly affected.

Furthermore, as one of the world’s most diverse sectors, the impact on women, youth and minorities was significant.

The number of those employed in the Italian Travel and Tourism sector fell from 3.5 million in 2019, to nearly 3.2 million in 2020 - a drop of 9.6%. However, due to the government’s generous job retention scheme, this figure was significantly lower than the global average decline of 18.5%.

The report also revealed domestic visitor spending declined by 49.6%, while international spending fared even worse, due to more stringent travel restrictions, causing a fall of 62%, however lower than the global average fall of almost 70%.

The World Travel and Tourism Council’s annual Economic Impact Report (EIR) today reveals the dramatic impact COVID-19 had on France’s Travel and Tourism sector, wiping out €103 billion from the nation’s economy.

The annual EIR from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), which represents the global Travel and Tourism private sector, shows the sector’s contribution to GDP dropped a staggering 48.8%.

Following three consecutive years in which the Travel and Tourism sector’s growth outpaced that of the overall economy, its impact on the nation’s GDP fell from €211 billion (8.5%) in 2019, to €108 billion (4.7%), just 12 months later, in 2020.

The year of damaging travel restrictions which brought much of international travel to a grinding halt, resulted in the loss of 193,000 Travel and Tourism jobs across the country.

WTTC believes the true picture could be significantly worse, if not for the government’s job retention scheme which offered a lifeline to thousands of businesses and workers. However, the scheme is hiding the real extent of the losses and the terrible social impact they could bring.

These job losses were felt across the entire Travel and Tourism ecosystem in the country, with SMEs, which make up eight out of 10 of all global businesses in the sector, particularly affected.

Furthermore, as one of the world’s most diverse sectors, the impact on women, youth and minorities was significant.

The number of those employed in the French Travel and Tourism sector fell from nearly 2.7 million in 2019, to 2.5 million in 2020 - a drop of 7.2%.

However, due to the government’s robust job retention scheme, this figure was significantly lower than the global average fall of 18.5%.

The report also revealed domestic visitor spending declined by 49.8%, and while international spending fared even worse due to more stringent travel restrictions, falling by-52.9%, this was once again significantly better than the global average decline of almost -70%.


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