Global tourism maintains strong growth

Travel and tourism accounted for one in five of all new jobs created globally in 2017, according to major industry research.

The travel and tourism sector continues to outperform the global economy after new figures showed another trend-busting year in 2017.

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) reported growth of 4.6% for 2017, which is 50% higher than the rate achieved by the global economy as a whole.

It’s the seventh year in a row that travel and tourism has outperformed, with 2017 setting a faster pace than manufacturing (4.2%), retail and wholesale (3.4%), agriculture, forestry and fisheries (2.6%) and financial services (2.5%).

Robust job creation

The research showed that the industry was responsible for the creation of seven million new jobs worldwide — equivalent to one in five globally.

Overall, travel and tourism made a contribution of US$8.3 trillion to global GDP (10.4%) and was responsible for 313 million jobs, 1 in 10 jobs around the world.

WTTC president Gloria Guevara said: “In the last few years, Governments around the world are realising the extraordinary benefits of tourism.”

Long-term outlook

In terms of 2018, the WTTC thinks that the strong growth will continue, albeit at a slower rate than in 2017 as a result of higher oil prices.

The long-term outlook to 2028 remains unchanged, with average growth of 3.8% per year expected over the next decade. By then, travel and tourism is expected to support more than 400 million jobs globally — 1 in 9 of all jobs in the world.

Europe’s performance in 2017 was better than expected with 4.8% growth as long-haul demand recovered strongly. There was a strong rebound in North Africa, growing by 22.6% in 2017, while South East Asia rose 6.7%.

China continues to lead the way in Asia at 9.8%. Over the next ten years, the WTTC estimates that over one third of absolute GDP growth and nearly half of employment growth will be generated by China and India.