Japan tourism sector set for return to pre-pandemic levels in 2023: WTTC

Forecast from the WTTC’s Economic Impact Report (EIR) is expecting Japan’s travel and tourism sector to contribute nearly 40 trillion yen (US$293.5 billion) to the country’s GDP by the end of 2023 – just 2.2 per cent below 2019 levels.

The report marked 2021 as the beginning of the sector’s recovery for Japan.

WTTC’s report reveals employment will surpass pre-pandemic levels by end-2022

Pre-pandemic, the sector’s contribution to GDP was 40.8 trillion yen in 2019, falling to 18.4 trillion yen in 2020 – a 54.8 per cent loss. In 2021, its contribution to GDP climbed 22.9 per cent year-on-year to reach 22.7 trillion yen.

In 2019, the sector supported 5.8 million jobs, falling to just below 5.3 million in 2020, and saw a recovery of more than 210,000 travel and tourism jobs reaching 5.5 million.

Julia Simpson, WTTC president & CEO, said: “Following two years of restrictions to mobility, which damaged the sector, there are reasons for optimism as the sector is finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

“But there is still work to be done. Removing testing and facilitating international travel will further boost the sector’s growth and fast-track the recovery.”

WTTC’s data also reveals employment will surpass pre-pandemic levels, recovering more than 23,000 jobs, to reach more than 5.8 million by the end of the year.

Over the next decade, travel and tourism’s GDP is expected to grow at an average of 2.6 per cent annually to reach more than 46.7 trillion yen. This will create nearly 683,000 jobs over the next 10 years, averaging more than 68,000 new jobs every year, to reach more than 6.2 million employed by the end of 2032.

By the end of 2022, the sector’s contribution to GDP is expected to grow 60 per cent to more than 36.2 trillion yen, amounting to 6.5 per cent of the total economic GDP.

Employment levels in the travel and tourism sector are expected to grow at a slower rate, with more than 5.6 million to work in the sector by the end of this year.

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