New research has revealed that travel & tourism was responsible for the creation of 7 million new jobs worldwide.
2017 was a particularly good year for the travel industry, which grew at 4.6%, outgrowing the global economy for the seventh connective year (3% growth in 2017).
Commissioned by WTTC’s annual Economic Impact Research, the study found that Travel & Tourism was the fastest growing broad economic sector globally, with stronger growth than retail and wholesale (3.4%), manufacturing (4.2%), agriculture, forestry and fisheries (2.6%) and financial services (2.5%).
Commenting on the report, Gloria Guevara, WTTC president & CEO, said: “Travel & Tourism creates jobs, drives economic growth and helps build better societies. Our research shows that our sector was responsible for the creation of one in five of all jobs globally. In the last few years, Governments around the world are realising the extraordinary benefits of tourism and I congratulate them for taking steps to maximise the potential of our sector.
“2017 was the best year on record for the Travel & Tourism sector. We have seen increased spending as a result of growing consumer confidence, both domestically and internationally, recovery in markets in North Africa and Europe previously impacted by terrorism and continued outbound growth from China and India. This is great news for the millions of people who depend on our sector for their livelihoods.”
Direct, Indirect & Induced Impact
Travel & Tourism’s direct, indirect and induced impact in 2017 accounted for:
- US$8.3 trillion contribution to global GDP (10.4%)
- 313 million jobs, one in 10 around the world
- US$1.5 trillion exports (6.5% of total exports, 28.8% of global services exports)
- US$882 billion investment (4.5% of total investment)
Some of the leading highlights globally include:
- Europe’s performance was better than previously expected with 4.8% growth as long-haul demand (dampened in 2016 by terrorism concerns) recovered strongly, accompanied by strong intra-regional travel thanks to the strength of the European economy. In 2017, European airlines recorded passenger growth of 8.1% and over 1 billion passengers for the first time
- Travel & Tourism’s contribution to GDP in North Africa grew by 22.6% in 2017, showing a strong rebound from the impacts of terrorism in previous years. Stellar performance from Egypt (72.9%) and solid growth in Tunisia (7.6%) inspire confidence in the region as tourism activity continues to recover to pre-attack levels
- Asian countries continue to drive global tourism growth with North East Asia growing at 7.4% and South East Asia at 6.7%. China continues to lead the way at 9.8%. Over the next ten years over one third of absolute GDP growth and nearly half of employment growth will be generated by China and India
- Latin America showed a decline of 1.4% in tourism GDP, largely a result of a contraction in international spend to the largest Latin American economy, Brazil, of 18.1% compared to 2016, and compounded by the ongoing political and economic problems in Venezuela
Guevara added: “As our sector continues to become more important both as a generator of GDP and jobs, our key challenge will be ensuring this growth is sustainable and inclusive. Already in 2017, we have begun to see a backlash against tourism in some key destinations. Going forward we need to ensure that growth is planned for, well managed and includes partnerships between not only the public and private sectors but also includes communities themselves. There is a huge opportunity for governments to capitalise on the opportunities Travel & Tourism brings to create new jobs, especially in those economies where many jobs are threatened by new technologies. WTTC looks forward to partnering with governments around the world to ensure benefits for all.”
Forecasts suggest slower growth in 2018 than 2017 as a result of higher oil prices. By 2028 Trevel & Tourism is expected to support over 400 million jobs globally, equating to one in nine jobs worldwide, with the sector contributing to 25% of global net job creation over the next decade.
WTTC’s Economic Impact Research is the only global dataset on the economic impact of Travel & Tourism, covering 185 countries and 20 regional groupings. It can be accessed at www.wttc.org.