Brexit could devastate tourism jobs

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According to a new report from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), a no-deal Brexit could result in the loss of thousands of travel and tourism jobs both in the UK and in Europe. Should the UK leave the EU without a deal on 29 March, which is not beyond the realms of possibility despite the staggeringly catastrophic implications, the WTTC estimates that over 300,000 travel and tourism jobs could be lost in the UK, and 400,000 in Europe.

Currently, according to the WTTC, travel and tourism contributes more than €1.5 trillion to the EU’s GDP annually – 10.3 per cent of the overall total – and supports over 27 million jobs. In the UK, travel and tourism contributes £213.8 billion to GDP, or 10.5 per cent of the overall total, with four million jobs supported.

The job losses that could result from a no-deal Brexit, the WTTC estimates, would drive a loss of £18.6 billion from the UK’s economy and £22 billion from the EU.

“The UK is the fifth largest travel and tourism economy in the world,” said Gloria Guevara, President and CEO of the WTTC. “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.”

In order to avoid these potentially devastating repercussions, the WTTC says that it is crucial that the UK maintains continuing access to the Single Aviation Market; that visa-free travel between the UK and the EU is maintained, with movement of people continuing to be as seamless as possible; that the mobility of labour across the UK and EU for travel and tourism employees should carry on; and security co-operation should be maintained in order to avoid hard border checks and lengthy delays.