The tourism industry in Russia is bigger than the size of automotive manufacturing industry and directly supports almost as many jobs as the financial sector.
This is according to new research from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) sponsored by American Express and TUI AG, released during a speech at the ‘Moscow International Travel Forum’ in Russia by WTTC president David Scowsill.
The research, undertaken by Oxford Economics, shows the total contribution of tourism to GDP in Russia was RUB3.4 trillion ($106 billion) in 2011, or 5.9 per cent of total GDP.
This compares to 4.8 per cent for automotive manufacturing, 2.9 per cent communications services and 3.3 per cent for chemicals.
Supporting four million direct, indirect and induced jobs, tourism in Russia generates more employment than the chemical industry and nearly as many jobs as the financial services sector.
The new research also showed that tourism’s contribution to GDP is growing faster than most other sectors in Russia.
It will grow by an average of four per cent per annum over the next ten years, a faster growth rate than the total economy.
It also highlights tourism is a significant source of export revenue for Russia.
In 2011, visitor exports totalled RUB517.2 billion ($16billion).
This was 30 per cent of all service exports and three per cent of all exports including goods and services.
Scowsill said: “These numbers are extremely significant.
“As a driver of economic recovery and growth in a very turbulent time, the industry stands apart for the sheer scale of its ability to create jobs and growth in every part of the globe and especially in Russia as shown by this study.
“Next year is an important year for the Russian’s tourism industry as the country hosts the next T20 Tourism Ministers’ meeting and in the lead up to the Winter Olympics due to take place in Sochi in 2014, and of course the FIFA World Cup in 2018.
“It’s a great time for Russia to take notice of the tourism industry as a generator of jobs and growth and ensure that sufficient investment and support is in place to ensure the success of these important events as well as the on-going growth of Russia’s tourism.”
At the WTTC Global Summit in Tokyo in April, WTTC’s research revealed that tourism’s direct contribution to world GDP at US$2 trillion or 2.8 per cent is more than double the GDP of automotive manufacturing and one-third larger than the global chemicals industry.
Tourism generates roughly the same GDP as the global education and communications sectors, and about half that of the global banking and financial services industry.
To download the Russia study, please click here.