Calling on the U.K. to make a deal with the European Union ahead of its exit from the EU on March 29, the World Travel & Tourism Council warned in a new analysis that billions of dollars and 700,000 travel and tourism jobs are at risk if a deal is not reached. 

"The U.K. is the fifth-largest travel and tourism economy in the world," WTTC CEO Gloria Guevara said in a statement. "Given its importance to the U.K. economy, it is now clear that a no-deal Brexit would have a dramatic impact on one of the U.K.'s most significant sectors." 

The WTTC found that more than 300,000 such jobs could be at risk in the in the U.K. alone and almost 400,000 in Europe if the U.K. leaves the EU without a deal. Its analysis models the impact on the travel and tourism sector over the next decade based on the 7.7% forecasted fall in economic activity across the wider U.K. economy by the International Monetary Fund in the event of a no-deal Brexit, the WTTC said. 

The analysis finds that in a no-deal situation, the economic impact could be a loss of 18.6 billion British pounds ($24.3 billion) in GDP to the U.K., and 22 billion pounds ($28.7 billion) in GDP to the EU economies. 

"If the IMF prediction on the wider economy is realized, there would be a total cost across Europe of over 40 billion pounds ($52.1 billion) and over 700,000 jobs compared to our projections," Guevara said. "Our members are already seeing an impact on their businesses and workforce."

The WTTC called for a deal that gives the U.K. access to a single aviation market; visa-free travel with the EU; continued mobility of labor for travel and tourism employees across the U.K. and EU; and security cooperation to avoid hard border checks and lengthy delays.

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