WTTC, which represents the global private Travel & Tourism sector, made the warning after an analysis which showed the impact caused by a further tightening of borders.
The figures were revealed today by Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO, during the 2021 Tourism Alliance Conference, a major event where industry leaders will discuss how to rebuild the UK Travel & Tourism sector.
Further damage could be made to the already embattled sector if new restrictions are imposed, such as the new potential measures which would see all travellers requiring a booster jab before they travel overseas.
Recent reports suggest this is being considered by ministers in an attempt to increase protection from COVID-19 for the fully vaccinated.
Currently only available to the over 50’s, so far, less than 20% of population in the UK have received the booster jab. This represents a minority of those able to travel, and such a move would once again leave millions unable to go abroad, with a huge economic impact as a result.
If wide scale restrictions, such as limiting travel only to those with the booster jab were enforced in 2022, more than half a million jobs could be at stake next year.
Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO said: “The very real prospect of more than 500,000 people losing their jobs across the UK Travel & Tourism sector because of unnecessary travel restrictions is a huge concern to WTTC.
“We cannot afford to let all the hard-earned progress we’ve made this year, slide back and be reversed. Too many people’s livelihoods are at risk, as well as the continuing economic recovery of the UK.”