It could be months before the travel industry manages to claw back some of the ground lost because of the pandemic.

Latest research from the World Travel & Tourism Council ( WTTC ) shows the sector’s year on year recovery may only achieve a modest 23.9% growth this year compared to a global figure of more than 30% amid renewed calls for rules across Europe to be harmonised.

WTTC says this slow recovery is due to travel restrictions throughout the year, particularly in the first half, which continued to hinder the sector.

Although far from pre-pandemic levels, the growth of the sector has seen a slight rise due to the successful vaccination rollout, and intra-European mobility, supported by the EU Digital Covid Certificate, which was launched in early July this year. But with borders closed internationally Europe has struggled to recover.

It has released a five-point plan designed to kickstart the industry in the UK and further afield.

Julia Simpson, WTTC President and chief executive, said: “Our research shows that while the European Travel and Tourism sector is slowly beginning to recover, there is still a long way to go. With many European countries’ borders now open to international travel for fully vaccinated travellers, the region’s economic recovery will be accelerated next year.

“This could restore millions of jobs and livelihoods which rely on a thriving sector. We need governments to replace the patchwork of restrictions with a set of harmonised rules for travel.”

The global tourism body says while the surge in domestic travel has provided some relief, it is not enough to achieve the full recovery the region needs to salvage Europe’s economy and millions of jobs.

In 2019, the European Travel & Tourism sector supported more than 38 million jobs. After suffering a loss of 3.6 million jobs last year when the pandemic brought international travel to an almost complete standstill, employment growth is set to remain stagnant this year.

But WTTC’s research reveals an expected 15.7% rise in jobs in 2022, increasing by 5.5 million jobs to reach pre-pandemic levels.

According to the research conducted by Oxford Economics on behalf of WTTC, the sector’s contribution to the region’s GDP and the rise in jobs could be more positive this year and next across Europe, if five vital measures are met by governments worldwide.

Dreaming of when you may be able to go on holiday again and where that might be? Want the latest travel and staycation news sent straight to your inbox to help you plan ahead?

Sign up here for regular updates on the latest travel advice, plus top destinations and wonderful places to stay post-Covid.

When you subscribe we will use the information you provide to send you these newsletters. Sometimes they'll include recommendations for other related newsletters or services we offer. Our Privacy Notice explains more about how we use you data, and your rights. You can unsubscribe at any time.

These measures include:

If these five vital measures are followed before the end of 2021, research shows the impact on the economy and jobs across Europe could be considerable.

For more stories from where you live, visit InYourArea.