According to a recent ILO study, up to a third of job losses across five Asian countries were linked to a decline in the tourism industry. This amounted to approximately 1.6 million jobs lost within the region.
The pandemic forced borders closed throughout the world. Even now, when nations are on the road to recovery, travel remains limited despite the slow reopening of borders. As a result, the tourism sector has suffered greatly as both domestic and international tourists ceased their visitations. According to the ILO, data from Brunei Darussalam, Mongolia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam revealed that the amount of jobs lost within the tourism related sectors in 2020 were up to four times higher compared to other industries.
According to Chihoko Asada-Miyakawa, ILO Assistant Director General and Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific, the slow rate of reopening borders and jobs across Asia will likely also mean that tourism-related sectors will continue to see low numbers well into the following year.
Even as borders re-open, international tourist arrivals are predicted to be slow in the near term. It is very likely that governments in nations with high economic dependence on tourism will likely implement more initiatives to diversify their economies, creating more jobs in different sectors to make up for the ones lost to the pandemic.
Recovery will take time and affected workers and enterprises in the tourism sector will continue to require assistance to replace lost incomes and preserve assets.