Tourism Outpaces Global Economic Growth

By Irene Gaitirira
Published March 24, 2017

David Scowsill views terrorism and the rise of populism as posing a severe risk to the ability of people to travel. For the sixth year running, the Travel and Tourism sector has outpaced the global economy, generating 292 million jobs globally and growing by 3.3%.

While the sector is expected to grow at an average of 3.9% per year over the next decade, it is expected to generate more than 11% of the world’s GDP and employ 380 million people by 2027. In fact, one-quarter of all jobs created in the next decade will be supported by Travel & Tourism, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).

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Economic Impact Report 2017, a report of WTTC that is based on research conducted in conjunction with Oxford Economics in 25 regions and 185 countries, says Travel and Tourism generated US$7.6 Trillion worldwide, which is 10.2% of global GDP, in 2016. The sector, the report shows, supported one out of 10 jobs worldwide. It forecasts that the sector shall grow by 3.8% in 2017, generating US$ 7.9 Trillion.

While Southeast Asia was the region with the fastest growing Travel & Tourism sector in 2016 at 8.3%, Latin America was the slowest growing region (0.2%).

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World Travel & Tourism Council says Tourism and Travel has for the sixth time outpaced global economic growth.While South Asia, North East Asia, and Oceania grew at the rates of 7.9%, 4.6% and 4.4%, respectively, the Caribbean grew at 3.2% and North America at 3.1%. The Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Europe recorded growth rates of 2.7%, 2.4% and 1.6% in that order.

David Scowsill, President & CEO of WTTC, says, “This is the sixth year in a row that Travel & Tourism has outpaced the global economy, showing the sector’s resilience, and the eagerness of people to continue to travel and discover new places, despite economic and political challenges across the world. The continuous growth of our sector underlines the significance of business and leisure travel in driving economic development and job creation throughout the world.”

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Scowsill, however, views terrorism and the rise of populism as posing a severe risk to the ability of people to travel.