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WTTC: US Travel & Tourism Experienced a Labour Shortage of 700,000 Vacancies in 2021

The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) has revealed that the sector in the United States has suffered a labour decline of 700,000 during this year.

According to an analysis carried out by WTTC, the expectations for 2022 are more positive, with about 480,000 unfilled jobs in the sector, or one in 13 positions out of all, VisaGuide.World reports.

Furthermore, the demand for jobs in the US sector accounts for 6.6 million open jobs during the second half of 2021, with the lack of labor vacancies anticipated at 690,000. Such rates correspond to one in nine unfilled jobs or a shortfall of 11 percent in the sector. 

“The US economic recovery could be put in serious jeopardy if we don’t have enough people to fill these jobs as travelers return. If we cannot fill these vacancies, it could seriously threaten the survival of travel and tourism businesses across the US,” Julia Simpson, WTTC’s CEO, said, also noting this can be another blow that companies related to tourism may not survive.  

In response to the report’s findings, WTTC recommends that governments and businesses tackle the labour shortage crisis by facilitating labour mobility, remote working, offering safety nets, upskilling and reskilling the workforce, and promoting education and internships. 

In addition, the global tourism body report shows that over 62 million travel and tourism sector jobs got lost globally due to the COVID-19 ongoing pandemic. 

This year, as the travel demand began to increase, in addition to the facilitating restrictions and the recovering the national tourism market, the labor supply couldn’t keep up with the rising labor demand, especially during the second half of 2021. Except for the US, all countries such as the United Kingdom, Spain, France, Italy and Portugal showed considerable staff shortages, with employment demand starting to overthrow the available labor supply.

WTTC says staff shortages made an essential issue for the global travel and tourism sector, and while issues around supply and demand are expected to settle during 2022, the problem is likely to remain. The sector’s recovery and economies worldwide depend on businesses and governments being able to solve this critical issue to meet the returning demand for travel.

Recently, the US government imposed a testing requirement on travelers reaching the country in a bid to minimize the further spread of COVID-19. In addition, the government has reduced the validity of the test certificate from three to one day. 

Furthermore, the authorities have also announced that all passengers traveling by plane, trains, or buses must wear a face mask. Such a measure was set to expire in mid-January but has been further extended until March 18 due to the uncertainty caused by the new variant emerging on the international stage. 

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