Millions of industry jobs at risk, warns WTTC

Millions of industry jobs at risk, warns WTTC

More than 14 million travel and tourism industry jobs are at risk worldwide unless governments and private sector companies act to address the talent shortage in the industry.

The warning from the World Travel & Tourism Council comes after research by Oxford Economics.

This shows that the industry could employ 14 million fewer people and contribute $610 billion less in GDP to the world economy over the next decade, when compared to accepted growth forecasts, if state and private companies fail to implement policies which promote proactive and careful talent management.

Travel and tourism currently sustains 266 million jobs, once indirect and induced impacts are taken into consideration, a figure projected to rise to 347 million by 2024, according to the WTTC.

The industry contributed nearly $7 trillion to the global economy in 2014, which is forecast to rise to $11 trillion by 2024.

The research claims to quantify for the first time the scale of the human resource challenge in the sector and the potential impact of the skills shortage on 2024 projections. These are the equivalent of lowering the level of global total travel and tourism employment by 4%.

The study covered 46 countries, which together account for more than 80% of the world’s travel and tourism employment and GDP. It assessed how well placed these countries are to create the right ‘enabling’ environment to develop talent over the next 10 years.

The results show a serious shortage of the right people, in the right place, with the right skills, to meet the growth of the industry over the next ten years.

This report warns of serious potential economic cost over the period, with 37 out of 46 countries showing a talent ‘deficit’ or ‘shortage’ in the industry over the next ten years, compared with only six out of 46 for the economy overall.

WTTC president and chief executive David Scowsill (pictured) said: “Travel and tourism is one of the world’s largest economic sectors. It drives jobs and economic growth; well-being and prosperity. It creates jobs at different skills levels for often-marginalised sectors of society, such as young people and women, and in areas where other employment opportunities are scarce.

“Failure to plan properly for talent requirements leads to lower growth, reduced investment, less innovation and declining competitiveness – for both countries and companies.

“When I speak to the leaders of the world’s travel and tourism companies, it is clear that the biggest challenge to their growth plans is the supply and retention of talent across all levels of their businesses. That is borne out by this research.

“It is alarming to consider that over 14 million jobs and $610 billion could be lost to the world economy over the next years, if government and private companies fail to implement policies which promote proactive and careful talent management.

“We are a people industry which depends on quality people to deliver a quality product to our customers.

“I urge anyone with an interest in our great industry to act now to address the anticipated talent shortage. We need the right policies, programmes and partnerships in place, to ensure that the workforce of the future knows about the opportunities in our sector, and has the appropriate skills and knowledge to support future growth.”

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