The United States economy stands to lose a total of $155 billion this year due to the collapse of international travel during the Covid-19 pandemic, according to latest research conducted by the World Travel & Tourism Council.
The trade body finds steep declines in the number of travellers visiting the country due to the poor handling of the pandemic could result in international visitor spending dropping by a 79 per cent.
This loss to the American economy equates to a shortfall of $425 million a day.
Gloria Guevara, WTTC chief executive, said: “The economic pain and suffering caused to millions of households across the United States, who are dependent upon tourism for their livelihoods, is evident from our latest shocking figures.
“The lack of international visitors to the US due to the pandemic could wipe out more than $155 billion from the US economy alone – a loss of $425 million a day – from which it may take years to recover.”
The harsh impact on United States tourism is laid bare by WTTC as the economic fallout from coronavirus continues to burn its way through the sector.
Nearly 12.1 million jobs in the country are at risk of being lost in a ‘worst case’ scenario mapped out by WTTC economic modelling.
“We urgently need to replace blanket quarantine measures with rapid, comprehensive and cost-effective test and trace programmes at departure points across the country,” said Guevara.
“This investment will be significantly less than the impact of blunt quarantines which have devastating and far-reaching socio-economic consequences.
“The recent $750 million deal with Abbott labs for $5 rapid test is very promising in this respect, and we hope that it allows the United States to continue to reopen and can prove as a blueprint for a way forward for other countries.
“Targeted test and tracing will help rebuild consumer confidence to travel.”