The region-wide travel shutdown has taken a heavy toll on the Asia tourism job market.
According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Brunei and Mongolia had nearly one-third of all job losses occurring in the tourism industry.
In these countries Covid led to 1.6 million job losses.
Tourism-related job layoffs were four times larger than in other sectors, Chihoko Asada-Miyakawa, ILO regional director for Asia and the Pacific said.
Women were proportionally harder hit, the ILO said.
“Even with countries in the region focusing heavily on vaccinations and designing strategies to slowly re-open borders, jobs and working hours in the tourism-related sector are likely to remain below their pre-crisis numbers in Asia-Pacific countries into next year,” Asada-Miyakawa said.
Brunei was impacted the most with tourism jobs declining 40%.
In the Philippines, tourism-related job losses were 28%.
About 291 million tourists visited the Asia-Pacific region in 2019, according to the World Economic Forum.
However, there is positive news from the World Travel & Tourism Council
WTTC says tourism in Asia Pacific is recovering ahead of many regions, with a year on year growth of more than 36%.