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WTTC report reveals optimistic outlook for Travel & Tourism in 2024

 

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) is foreseeing an extraordinary year for Travel & Tourism in 2024, with the sector’s global economic contribution anticipated to reach an unprecedented USD 11.1 trillion.

According to WTTC’s 2024 Economic Impact Research (EIR), Travel & Tourism is projected to add an additional USD 770 billion compared to its previous record, solidifying its position as a global economic powerhouse, responsible for generating one in every ten dollars worldwide.

As the global sector surpasses its pre-pandemic prosperity, WTTC anticipates that 142 out of 185 analyzed countries will outshine their previous national records.

In collaboration with Oxford Economic, WTTC’s latest EIR presents a sector ripe with opportunities, supporting nearly 348 million jobs globally. This marks an increase of more than 13.6 million jobs compared to its peak in 2019.

International visitor spending is expected to come close to the 2019 peak, reaching USD 1.89 trillion, while domestic tourists are forecasted to spend more than ever before, reaching USD 5.4 trillion.

Reflecting on the previous year

Despite economic uncertainties and geopolitical challenges, the Travel & Tourism sector is thriving. With an economic injection of nearly USD 10 trillion, the sector matched its pre-pandemic peak, showcasing its resilience and indispensable role in the global economy.

Contributing 9.1% of global GDP, totaling over USD 9.9 trillion in 2023, Travel & Tourism’s financial impact was the highest since the peak year of 2019, trailing its peak by only 4%.

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

International spending surged by 33.1% to reach USD 1.63 trillion, indicating a vibrant recovery for many countries, while domestic spending increased by over 18% to nearly USD 5 trillion.

Despite the impressive growth, two of the world’s largest tourism markets, the U.S. and China, saw slower returns in terms of international visitor spending. In the U.S., international visitor spending remained more than a quarter below the 2019 peak, while China’s visitor spend remained almost 60% lower.

Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO, commented, “Against a backdrop of uncertainty, the Travel & Tourism sector remains a global economic powerhouse. This isn’t just about breaking records; it’s about the sector reaching its peak performance after a challenging few years, providing a significant economic boost to countries worldwide and supporting millions of jobs.”

Travel & Tourism in the next decade

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

By 2034, the sector is expected to turbocharge the global economy with an astounding USD 16 trillion, constituting 11.4% of the entire economic landscape.

This flourishing industry is poised to be a major job creator, offering employment to 449 million people worldwide. Nearly 12.2% of the global workforce will be driving this dynamic sector, underscoring Travel & Tourism’s pivotal role in global employment.

With over three-quarters of analysed countries expected to surpass the 2019 GDP contribution, Travel & Tourism is on the cusp of its most transformative era yet, promising prosperity, innovation, and connectivity on an unprecedented scale.

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