One million jobs are being lost every day in travel and tourism due to the coronavirus pandemic, the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) reported Friday. 

WTTC says the closure of hotels, the suspension of international and domestic flights, the cessation of cruises and countries’ travel bans are having a “catastrophic domino effect hitting huge numbers of suppliers worldwide.”

Small and medium-sized businesses at every level in the industry, such as tour operators and travel agents, are especially vulnerable.

“While the priority for governments is to keep people safe, this global health catastrophe means a million people a day in the travel and tourism industry alone are losing their jobs and facing potential ruin due to the disastrous impact of the coronavirus pandemic,” WTTC CEO Gloria Guevara said in a statement. “It is heartbreaking that the livelihoods of millions of people who have dedicated their lives to the travel and tourism sector are being decimated, from waiters to taxi drivers, guides to chefs and caterers, pilots to cleaners.”

WTTC said it is in talks with some 75 governments around the world and has called on them to intervene to help businesses with loans and tax breaks to prevent them from collapse.

“While some governments have been quick to respond with promises of help, the majority of businesses still have no idea how to access these potentially life-saving loans and tax breaks,” she added. “Today, we call on governments around the world to make crystal-clear how businesses can access funds, which can prevent the hemorrhage of jobs throughout the travel and tourism sector.”

Earlier this week, WTTC announced a three-point plan for governments to combat the devastating effect of Covid-19 on travel. 

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