New research from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) shows employment in tourism across Europe will recover with the region’s travel and tourism sector approaching pre-pandemic levels this year. According to the research, the sector’s contribution to the region’s economy could reach nearly EUR1.7 trillion, only 12% below pre-pandemic levels. In contrast, employment could reach more than 38 million jobs, just 0.4% behind 2019 figures.
To reach close to pre-pandemic levels this year, WTTC says governments across the continent must continue focussing on the vaccine and booster rollout – allowing fully vaccinated travellers to move freely without the need for testing. The global tourism body also urges governments to ditch the patchwork of restrictions and enable international travel using digital solutions, such as the EU Digital COVID Certificate, that allow travellers to prove their status in a fast, simple, and secure way.
Taking a closer look at France’s travel and tourism sector, WTTC forecasts the country could gain more than 60,000 jobs this year compared to 2019, reaching 2.8 million and surpassing pre-pandemic levels by 2.3%.
In 2019, before the pandemic struck, France’s Travel & Tourism sector contributed almost EUR211 billion to its economy (8.5% of the country’s economy). However, in 2020, the pandemic had a major impact on the sector, and Travel & Tourism’s contribution to France’s economy was almost halved by a staggering 48.8%, to nearly EUR108 billion (4.7% of the total economy).
Latest research from the global tourism body shows that if France, with more than three-quarters of its population already fully vaccinated, continues to ease restrictions throughout the year, the sector’s contribution to the economy could reach EUR182 billion in 2022, just 13.5% behind pre-pandemic levels.
In terms of employment, the outlook could be even more positive. After the loss of thousands of jobs in 2020, when Travel & Tourism businesses in France suffered serious losses due to severe travel restrictions and complete border closures, the sector could recover the jobs lost during 2020 to reach nearly 2.8 million employed in the sector this year – 2.3% above 2019 levels.
WTTC President & CEO Julia Simpson said: “It’s fantastic to see such a strong recovery for a country that has prioritised its travel and tourism sector. Our latest research shows just how crucial the recovery of France’s travel and tourism sector is to reboot the national economy. “Millions of livelihoods depend on a booming travel and tourism sector, and thanks to the support of the French government, the sector could soon achieve a full economic recovery and bring back all the jobs lost during the pandemic.”