Travel and tourism will be ‘driving force’ in global economic recovery

Travel and tourism is expected to create nearly 126 million new jobs within the next decade.

The forecast by the World Travel & Tourism Council also shows the sector will be a driving force of the global economic recovery, creating one in three of all new jobs.

The latest WTTC economic impact report shows travel and tourism’s GDP is forecast to grow at an average rate of 5.8% a year between 2022-2032, outstripping the 2.7% growth rate for global economy, to reach $14.6 trillion – 11.3% of the total global economy.

Global travel and tourism GDP could reach pre-pandemic levels by 2023 – just 0.1% below 2019 levels.

The sector’s contribution to GDP is expected to grow by 43.7% to almost $8.4 trillion by the end of 2022, amounting to 8.5% of the total global economic GDP – just 13.3% behind 2019 levels.

This will be matched by a boost in employment, which is expected to approach 2019 levels next year.

The projections were made by WTTC president and chief executive Julia Simpson in her opening speech at its global summit in Manila.

She said: “Over the next decade travel and tourism will create 126 million new jobs worldwide. In fact, one in three of every new job created will be related to our sector.

“Looking to this year and the next, WTTC forecast a brighter future with both GDP and employment set to reach pre-pandemic levels by next year.

“The recovery in 2021 was slower than expected due in part to the impact of the Omicron variant but mainly due to an unco-ordinated approach by governments who rejected the advice of the World Health Organization, which maintained that closing borders would not stop the spread of the virus but would only serve to damage economies and livelihoods.”

Looking back a year, WTTC’s latest EIR report also revealed that 2021

Last year saw the start of the recovery for the global travel and tourism sector, with its contribution to GDP climbing 21.7% year-on-year to reach more than $5.8 trillion.

The sector’s contribution to GDP was 10.3% ($9.6 trillion) in 2019, falling to 5.3% (nearly $4.8 trillion) in 2020 when the pandemic was at its height.

The sector saw a recovery of more than 18 million travel and tourism jobs, representing a 6.7% rise in 2021.

The contribution to the global economy and employment would have been higher if not for the impact of the Omicron variant, which led to recovery faltering around the world, with many countries reinstating severe travel restrictions.

Worldwide global travel and tourism employment is expected to grow tis year by 3.5%, making up 9.1% of the global jobs market, lagging behind 2019 levels by 10%.

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