The importance of travel and tourism to boost the global economy

Feb 13, 2021 Impacting Travel

The importance of travel and tourism to boost the global economy

Restoring international travel and tourism will be vital to enhancing social progress and boosting the global economy after the pandemic, according to a new Social Impact Report released by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) in collaboration with the non-profit organization. for profit Social Progress Imperative (SPI).

The research paper shows significant correlations between data from the WTTC Economic Impact Report and SPI’s Social Progress Index scores over the past decade, with China, Cambodia, Rwanda and Sri Lanka among the largest beneficiaries.


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According to research, travel and tourism enrich communities at a faster rate than the overall economy. For example, between 2011 and 2019, Southeast Asia recorded the fastest annual growth rate in per capita GDP for travel and tourism at 6.7% compared to 3.7% overall economic growth for the region. What’s more, the Middle East saw travel and tourism GDP per capita growth of 3 percent compared to just 0.3 percent for the region’s economy overall.

The data also puts into perspective the impact of the travel and tourism industry on employment. Globally, one job is created for every 34 international visitors to a destination. But the impact is much greater in regions like Africa, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East, where only 11, 13 and 24 international visitors are needed, respectively, to create new work. For every direct job created globally, nearly two new jobs are created indirectly or induced, the document shows. This means that a direct job in the travel and tourism sector creates a total of three jobs.

The latest WTTC economic model estimates that up to 174 million travel and tourism-related jobs were affected globally in 2020. However, the pandemic has affected some countries more than others.

The latest research from WTTC and SPI also reveals that for every $ 1 generated in direct global travel and tourism GDP, more than $ 2 is generated indirectly.

“WTTC is proud to publish this important research that focuses on social impact, highlighting how critical travel and tourism is to our world,” said WTTC President and CEO Gloria Guevara in a statement. “Travel and tourism is one of the most diverse sectors, employing people of all socioeconomic backgrounds regardless of age, gender or ethnicity, with nearly 54 percent of whom are women and up to 30 percent youths”.

“After almost a full year of insecurity and hardship that has come from the COVID-19 pandemic, the moment could not be more appropriate to celebrate the importance of the sector,” he concluded.