WTTC: Tourism set to hit all-time high

SINGAPORE, 9 April 2024: The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) is projecting a record-breaking year for Travel & Tourism in 2024, with the sector’s global economic contribution set to reach an all-time high of USD11.1 trillion.

According to the global tourism body’s 2024 Economic Impact Research (EIR), Travel & Tourism will contribute an additional USD770 billion over its previous record, stamping its authority as a global economic powerhouse, generating one in every 10 dollars worldwide.

As the global sector soars past its pre-pandemic prosperity, WTTC expects 142 of the 185 countries analysed to outperform previous national records.

In partnership with Oxford Economics, WTTC’s latest EIR showcases a sector brimming with opportunities and underpinning almost 348 million jobs globally. This represents an increase of more than 13.6 million jobs compared to its highest point in 2019.

International visitor spending is expected to come within touching distance of the 2019 peak, to reach USD1.89 trillion, while domestic tourists are forecast to spend more than in any year on record to hit USD5.4 trillion.

A look back on last year

Despite economic uncertainties and geopolitical shake-ups, the Travel & Tourism sector thrives. With an economic injection of nearly USD10 trillion, the sector matched its pre-pandemic zenith, flexing its resilience and proving its critical role in the global economy.

Travel & Tourism represents 9.1% of global GDP at just over USD9.9 trillion in 2023. Its financial footprint was the largest since the golden year of travel in 2019, trailing its peak by a mere 4%.

The sector also bolstered its workforce by an additional 27.4 million, propelling the total to nearly 330MN jobs worldwide.

International spending increased by 33.1% to reach USD1.63 trillion, underscoring a vibrant comeback story for many countries worldwide. Domestic spending increased by more than 18% to reach almost USD5 trillion.

2023 set the stage, demonstrating the unwavering passion for travel, paving the way for a record-breaking year in 2024.

This growth comes despite two of the world’s biggest tourism markets lagging in international visitor spend, with both the US and China seeing a far slower return of international tourist spend.

Last year in the US, international visitor spending remained more than a quarter below the peak of 2019, while China’s visitor spend remained almost 60% down.

WTTC President & CEO Julia Simpson said: “Against the backdrop of uncertainty, the Travel & Tourism sector remains a global economic powerhouse.

“This isn’t just about breaking records; we’re no longer talking about a recovery — this is a story of the sector back at its best after a difficult few years, providing a significant economic boost to countries worldwide and supporting millions of jobs.

“There’s a risk. The US and Chinese governments need to support their national Travel & Tourism sectors. Otherwise, the US and China will continue to suffer while other countries see international visitors return much faster.”

Travel & Tourism 10 years from now

WTTC forecasts a promising future for the next decade, characterised by robust growth and unparalleled career opportunities.

By 2034, the sector will supercharge the global economy with a staggering USD16 trillion, making up 11.4% of the entire economic landscape.

This booming industry is also set to be a job creation juggernaut, employing 449 million people worldwide. Nearly 12.2% of the workforce will power this vibrant sector, showcasing Travel & Tourism’s pivotal role in global employment.

With more than three-quarters of the countries analysed expected to exceed the high point of 2019 in terms of GDP contribution,

Travel & Tourism is on the brink of its most transformative era yet, promising prosperity, innovation, and connection on a scale we’ve yet to see.
For more information, visit wttc.org


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