Travel and tourism is set for a milestone year as the industry’s direct contribution to the global economy is expected to pass $2 trillion in GDP and 100 million jobs, according to the latest findings released by World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) during ITB Berlin.
According these findings, the global travel and tourism industry will grow by 2.8% in 2012, marginally faster than the global rate of economic growth, predicted to be 2.5%.
This rate of growth means that Travel & Tourism industry is expected to directly contribute $2 trillion to the global economy and sustain some 100.3 million jobs.
When the wider economic impacts of the industry are taken into account, travel and tourism is forecast to contribute some $6.5 trillion to the global economy and generate 260 million jobs – or 1 in 12 of all jobs on the planet.
In 2011, Travel & Tourism’s total economic contribution, taking account of its direct, indirect and induced impacts, was US$6.3 trillion in GDP, 255 million jobs, US$743 billion in investment and US$1.2 trillion in exports. This contribution represented 9% of GDP, 1 in 12 jobs, 5% of investment and 5% of exports.
WTTC president and CEO David Scowsill reveals: “In 2012, when international travellers are expected to surpass one billion for the first time, the industry will pass two other major milestones: a direct contribution of $2 trillion to the world economy and 100million jobs. But these numbers are dwarfed by the total forecast contribution of our industry –$6.5 trillion to the global economy and 260 million jobs.”
Over the medium-term, the prospects of the industry are even more positive with average annual growth expected to be 4% through to 2022 by which time Travel & Tourism will employ 328 million people – or 1 in 10 of all jobs on the planet.
Scowsill continued: “It is clear that the travel and tourism industry is going to be a significant driver of global growth and employment for the next decade. Our industry is responsible for creating jobs, pulling people out of poverty, and broadening horizons. It is one of the world’s great industries”.
Other highlights that were discussed were South & Northeast Asia as the fastest-growing regions in 2012, growing by 6.7%, driven by countries such as India and China where rising incomes will generate an increase in domestic tourism spend and a sharp upturn in capital investment, and recovery in Japan.
Meanwhile Qatar looks set to be the rising star in the Middle East, parts of which have been impacted by civil unrest and violence. Qatar is expected to see the fastest growth in the region this year at 13.2%.