The UK government must scrap its existing travel policy in order to boost the economic recovery, argues the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).
The body argues the recovery of the sector has been hampered by the lack of international coordination, severe travel restrictions and slower vaccination rates in some parts of the world, which are still in place in many regions of the world.
In 2019, the tourism sector generated nearly US$9.2 trillion to the global economy, however, in 2020, the pandemic brought the sector to an almost complete standstill.
This resulted in a 49 per cent drop, representing a punishing loss of nearly USD$4.5 trillion.
While the global economy is set to receive a modest 30 per cent year on year increase from tourism in 2021, this will only represent US$1.4 trillion and is mainly driven by domestic spending.
The economic modelling was conducted by Oxford Economics on behalf of WTTC and calculated a baseline scenario based on the current global vaccination rollout, consumer confidence and relaxed travel restrictions in some in regions around the world.
The research reveals that at the current rate of recovery, the contribution of tourism to the global economy could see a similar moderate year on year rise of 32 per cent in 2022.
Last year, WTTC revealed the loss of a staggering 62 million tourism jobs around the world and with the current pace of recovery, jobs are set to rise by only 0.7 per cent this year.
Similarly, research shows a more hopeful potential year-on-year jobs rise across the sector next year, by a positive 18 per cent.
Julia Simpson, WTTC chief executive, said: “Our research clearly shows that while the global tourism sector is beginning to recover from the ravages of Covid-19, there are still too many restrictions in place, an uneven vaccine rollout, resulting in a slower than expected recovery of just under a third this year.
“The UK prime minister has an opportunity to help revive the sector faster by removing the UK red list policy and enabling stress free international travel for all of those fully-vaccinated.”