More than 300,000 UK travel and tourism jobs could be at risk and almost 400,000 in Europe if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

The stark warning comes in new analysis by the World Travel & Tourism Council.

It claims that a no-deal Brexit would have a damaging impact on one of the UK’s most important economic sectors, which contributes £213.8 billion to GDP – 10.5% of the total – and supports four million jobs – 11.6% of the total.

The WTTC analysis models the impact on travel and tourism over the next decade, based on the 7.7% forecast fall in economic activity across the wider UK economy modelled by the International Monetary Fund.

It found that In this situation, a no-deal Brexit would result in:
• A loss of 308,000 jobs in the UK economy
• A loss of 399,000 jobs in the rest of the EU
• A loss of £18.6 billion in GDP to the UK economy
• A loss of £22.0 billion in GDP to the economies of the rest of the EU

To minimise the impact, the WTTC said it is crucial that:

• The UK should continue to have access to the European single aviation market

• Visa-free travel between the UK and EU should be maintained and the movement of people should be as seamless as possible while maintaining security

• Mobility of labour for travel and tourism employees across the UK and EU should continue

• Security co-operation to avoid hard border checks and lengthy delays is paramount

WTTC president and chief executive Gloria Guevara said: “The UK is the fifth largest travel and tourism economy in the world. Given its importance to the UK economy, it is now clear that a no-deal Brexit would have a dramatic impact on one of the UK’s most significant sectors.

“If the IMF prediction on the wider economy is realised, there would be a total cost across Europe of over £40 billion and over 700,000 jobs compared to our projections.

“Our members are already seeing an impact on their businesses and workforce.”

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