One in five of all new jobs created globally in 2017 are attributable to travel and tourism, according to new research from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).
WTTC’s annual Economic Impact Research shows that the industry was responsible for the creation of seven million new jobs worldwide. Overall, travel and tourism accounted for one in 10 jobs globally.
The report also showed that 2017 was a bumper year for the sector which grew at 4.6 per cent, 50 per cent faster than the global economy as a whole (three per cent growth during 2017). Travel and tourism also showed stronger growth than all other sectors, including manufacturing (4.2 per cent), retail and wholesale (3.4 per cent), agriculture, forestry and fisheries (2.6 per cent) and financial services (2.5 per cent).
Asian countries continue to drive global tourism growth, with North-east Asia growing at 7.4 per cent and South-east Asia at 6.7 per cent. China leads the way at 9.8 per cent.
WTTC projects that over the next 10 years over one third of absolute GDP growth and nearly half of employment growth will be generated by China and India.
Europe’s performance was better than previously expected with 4.8 per cent growth as longhaul demand recovered, accompanied by strong intra-regional travel thanks to the strength of the European economy.
Meanwhile, Latin America showed a decline of 1.4 per cent in tourism GDP, largely a result of a contraction in international spend to the largest Latin American economy, Brazil, of 18.1 per cent compared to 2016, and compounded by the ongoing political and economic problems in Venezuela.
Gloria Guevara, WTTC president and CEO, said: “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.”
Last year, direct, travel & tourism’s indirect and induced impact accounted for US$8.3 trillion contribution to global GDP (10.4 per cent); 313 million jobs; US$1.5 trillion exports (6.5 per cent of total exports, 28.8 per cent of global services exports); and US$882 billion investment (4.5 per cent of total investment).
Forecasts for 2018 suggest that growth will continue, albeit at a slower rate than in 2017 as a result of higher oil prices.