Don’t lose focus on Travel & Tourism, WTTC urges future government

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    The Travel & Tourism sector will demonstrate its enduring ability to create jobs and prosperity for the UK economy in 2015 with the sector forecast to grow by 4%, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) which published its annual economic impact assessment of the sector yesterday (24th March).In 2014, the sector contributed £187.7 billion in GDP and 4.2 million jobs to the British economy.

    During 2015, the sector’s GDP contribution is forecast to grow by 4% and employment by 2%. This demonstrates the sector’s enduring ability to generate economic growth and create jobs at a faster rate than the national economy, which is due to grow by 2.9% in 2015.

    By the end of 2015, the Travel & Tourism sector will contribute £195.2 billion, almost 11% of the UK’s GDP, and 4.3 million jobs, 13% of total employment, once all direct, indirect and induced impacts are taken into account.

    David Scowsill, President & CEO WTTC, said: “The UK is the fifth largest Travel & Tourism economy in the world, with the sector contributing over £187 billion to the wider economy. This is one of the largest economic sectors, driving economic growth, well-being and prosperity. It creates jobs at different skills levels and in areas where other employment opportunities are scarce.”

    “WTTC urges the next UK Government to take three major steps to ensure that this sector, which contributes one in nine of all jobs in the UK, continues to grow. Firstly, there is a need to make visa applications easier, particularly for high-spending Chinese travellers. Secondly, the Air Passenger Duty tax, which remains amongst the highest in the world, must be reformed. Thirdly, a decision must be taken quickly on addressing the chronic under-supply of airport capacity in the South East.”

    Also released today, research conducted for WTTC shows that the sector could employ 352,000 fewer people and contribute £17 billion less in GDP to the UK economy over the next ten years, when compared to WTTC current growth forecasts, if government and private companies fail to implement policies which promote proactive and careful talent management.

    The research on talent gaps in Travel & Tourism, for the first time, quantifies the sheer scale of the human resource challenge for UK’s Travel & Tourism sector and the potential impact of the skill shortage on the 2024 projections.

    Scowsill continued: “According to WTTC forecasts, Travel & Tourism has the potential to contribute 5 million jobs and 11.2% of GDP to the British economy by 2025. However, this growth will not happen by itself. Rather, it needs progressive and coordinated government policies right across the sector to make it happen.”

    Every year, WTTC forecasts the economic impact of the Travel & Tourism sector in over 180 countries and 24 regions. For 2015, these forecasts show a sector that is, yet again, growing strongly, creating jobs and driving growth. By the end of the year, the contribution to GDP across the world from Travel & Tourism will have grown by 3.7% and the sector will contribute 284 million jobs, or one in eleven of all jobs on the planet, once all the indirect and induced benefits are taken into account.

    David Scowsill, President & CEO WTTC, said: “At a time of global economic uncertainty, Travel & Tourism is an enduring source of job creation and a driver of growth for almost every country and every region in the world.”

    Daniel Fountain / 25.03.2015

    Editor, Hotel Designs


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