New research from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has revealed, as the global tourism sector begins to recover from the ravages of the Covid-19 pandemic, its contribution to the global economy could reach $8.6 trillion this year.
In 2019, before the pandemic struck, the sector generated nearly $9.2 trillion to the global economy.
However, in 2020, the pandemic brought the sector to an almost complete halt, causing a massive 49 per cent drop, representing a severe loss of nearly $4.5 trillion.
Latest research from WTTC shows that as the world finally begins to recover from pandemic, the sector’s contribution to the global economy and jobs could reach almost pre-pandemic levels this year, if the recovery of the sector continues to pick up pace.
Research by the global tourism body shows that if the vaccine and booster rollout continue at pace this year, and restrictions to international travel are eased around the world throughout the year - increasing the number of people who can travel ‘quarantine free,’ the sector’s contribution to the global economy could reach $8.6 trillion, just six per cent down on pre-pandemic levels.
WTTC’s research also shows that the sector’s contribution global employment could reach more than 330 million, just one per cent below pre-pandemic levels and up 22 per cent up on 2020 representing a massive 58 million more jobs.
Julia Simpson, WTTC chief executive, said: “Over the past two years, due to severe travel restrictions around the world, the global tourism sector has suffered tremendous losses.
“Our latest research clearly shows that there is light at the end of the tunnel, and 2022 is certainly looking more positive in terms of both jobs and the economy.
“However, there is much more work to be done if we are to bring back all the jobs lost and achieve a full economic recovery.
“With so much is at stake, it’s vital we continue driving the recovery of our sector.
“Governments must shift their risk assessment from entire countries to the individual traveller and allow the fully vaccinated to travel freely.”