Travel firm TripAdvisor Inc is laying off a quarter of its workforce globally as the travel sector takes a severe beating amid the lockdown restrictions worldwide. The travel firm is also closing offices in San Francisco and Boston in order to cut down on costs.
The Massachusetts-based company is slashing around 600 positions in the US. Another 300 positions globally will also be eliminated, said Chief Executive Officer Steve Kaufer in a statement on Tuesday. Most of the remaining employees will be asked to take a salary cut of 20 per cent as work will also be reduced to four days in a week starting June 1.
"These are the most difficult cost-saving decisions I have ever had to make. This is a tough day on many levels, and this pandemic has been nothing short of surreal," said Kaufer in an email, according to a report in Bloomberg.
Kaufer had earlier said that he would forego his salary for 2020 and predicted that the full extent of the COVID-19 pandemic is yet to be felt. Nevertheless, he said that he was confident that the travel industry will recover.
The impact on travel industry has been felt severely as many countries have placed lockdowns and restricted inbound and outbound flights. These restrictions have put an end to all business and vacation trips. Not only TripAdvisor, Expedia Group, Airbnb and Booking Holdings Inc have also been impacted.
According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, the travel and tourism industry could see as many as 100 million job losses.
Closer home, travel experts feel that the economic loss to the travel and tourism sector is of grave concern but even a bigger worry is how long it will take for the sector to recover. "Fear and apprehension would be there in the minds of travellers till the time a long-term solution of Coronavirus comes. We see the sector taking a longer time than expected to recover," Ankur Bhatia, Executive Director of travel technology and hospitality company Bird Group said.