The latest Economic Impact Report from the World Travel & Tourism Council paints a bullish picture for the sector over the next decade. After making a steady recovery in 2021, travel and tourism GDP is set to double the global for the next ten years. Furthermore, the industry will be responsible for one in three of every new job on the planet.
Full recovery by 2023
The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has just published its latest Economic Impact Report for 2022. Its findings reveal that the sector can look forward to a rosy future until 2032.
"Looking to this year and the next, WTTC forecasts a brighter future," said Julia Simpson, WTTC President and CEO. She added that both GDP and employment are set to reach pre-pandemic levels by next year.
Travel and tourism GDP to double global economy
The WTTC research points to a 5.8% growth per year in the sector between this year and 2032. The figure is over twice that of global GDP, forecast at 2.7% p.a.
By 2032, travel and tourism GDP is expected to amount to US$14.6 trillion. This total equates to 11.3% of the total global economy.
In 2021, the sector contributed 6.1% to the world's wealth, a 21.7% increase on 2020. Furthermore, the figure is only slightly below that registered in 2019, prior to the pandemic.
Employment in tourism to recover ground
According to the Economic Impact Report, travel and tourism recovered over 18 million jobs last year. In total, over 289 million people were employed in the sector, the equivalent of one job in every 11.
The WTTC forecasts that employment in tourism will continue to grow this year and next. As a result, by the end of 2023, the number of jobs should be just 2.7% shy of pre-pandemic levels. In 2019, the travel and tourism sector employed one in every ten people.
Domestic and international spending also increase
Over the last two years, most countries have witnessed a sharp uptick in domestic tourism. The WTTC report reflects this increase and finds that spending by domestic tourists globally rose by 31.4% in 2021.
On the other hand, international spending saw a considerably smaller increase and rose by just 3.8%. However, the figure represents a significant improvement on 2020 when spending by international tourists plummeted by nearly 70%.
Massive increase in global travel
As more and more countries open their borders, figures for international travel this year look increasingly better. The WTTC forecasts a major increase in global international flight bookings for the forthcoming summer season.
"Sun and sea destinations, such as the Caribbean and Latin America" sit at the top of tourist destinations, according to the WTTC. Both these areas are set to lead the international inbound bookings this year.