Heavy SARS Toll on Tourism Anticipated

From Bloomberg News

Five million people will lose their jobs this year in the worldwide tourism industry because of the SARS epidemic and the economic slump, with Asia by far the hardest hit region, the United Nations said in a report.

The industry, which employs about 80 million people, has lost 11.5 million jobs since late 2001, according to the UN.

Travel and tourism employment in China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and Vietnam, the countries most affected by SARS, will decrease by as much as 30%, the report said.