Airport arrivals board

As many as 50 million jobs could be lost around the world in the tourism industry as a direct result of the Coronavirus pandemic, according to a leading industry body.

The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) warned that the outbreak poses a "presents a significant threat to the industry".

Its prediction is based on a range of factors, including the overwhelming rises in international flight cancellations and some insurers suspended the sale of new travel insurance policies. Passenger numbers in China dropped nearly 85% in February which resulted

The WTTC's chief executive, Gloria Guevara, said the tourism industry could shrink by as much as 25% by the end of 2020.

The body is calling on governments around the world to remove or simplify the cost of visas, remove "unnecessary" barriers at airports and borders, reduce travel taxes such as Air Passenger Duty, and boost budgets for promoting travel destinations.

Ms Guevara added: "Travel and tourism has the strength to overcome this challenge and will emerge stronger."