The global coronavirus outbreak means millions of travel and tourism jobs are at risk, says a leading industry body.
The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) says up to 50 million jobs could be lost because of the pandemic.
Its chief executive, Gloria Guevara, said the outbreak “presents a significant threat to the industry”.
The news comes after thousands of international flights were cancelled and some insurance firms suspended travel cover for new customers.
New figures from the WTTC suggest that the travel sector could shrink by up to 25% in 2020.
The trade body is calling on governments to take several steps to protect the industry, including:
Removing or simplifying visas where possible, as well as reducing costs
Relaxing “unnecessary barriers” at ports and airports
Reduce travellers’ taxes such as Air Passenger Duty
Increase budgets for promoting travel destinations.
But Ms Guevara added: “Travel and tourism has the strength to overcome this challenge and will emerge stronger.”
The tourism industry has been massively affected by the spread of coronavirus, as many countries have introduced travel restrictions in an attempt to contain its spread.