The global travel and tourism sector directly sustains twice as many jobs as the financial sector, and five times as many as the chemicals manufacturing sector, according to a new report by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).
The WTTC Benchmarking Report 2017 compares travel and tourism to eight other sectors, which are considered to have similar breadth and global presence, across 27 countries and six regions.
The report found that in 2016, travel and tourism supported 108 million jobs directly and 292 million in total. This means that on both direct and overall levels, travel and tourism employs more people than the automotive manufacturing, banking, mining, chemicals manufacturing, and financial services sectors.
It also shows that the power of travel and tourism to create jobs is significantly higher than that of financial services, when you compare their contribution to GDP. Financial services generates 19.4% of the world’s GDP compared to 10.2% by travel and tourism, but the latter supports twice as many global jobs.
Travel and tourism generated a total of US$7.6 trillion in GDP in 2016 – a larger contribution than that of banking (US$4.8trn), mining (US$5.0trn), agriculture (US$5.8trn), automotive manufacturing (US$6.1trn) and chemicals manufacturing (US$6.5trn).
In Asia Pacific, travel and tourism’s US$2.3trn contribution to GDP makes the sector larger than the region’s mining sector, while the 159.2m supported jobs exceeds the impacts of banking, mining, automotive manufacturing and financial services.
“It is easy to applaud the efforts or even to criticise the failings of travel and tourism in isolation without looking at the picture of our industry separate from the overall industrial context,” said David Scowsill, president & CEO of the WTTC. “Our sector contributes 10.2% of global GDP and supports one in 10 jobs when you look at the total impact and this research helps to put these achievements in context, and gives a clear picture as to the strength of travel and tourism.
“Business and leisure travel creates opportunities, empowers communities and enhances local livelihoods. There are still challenges to sustainable growth, and WTTC will continue to urge public and private sector to invest into our sector and implement policies that are favourable for growth while safeguarding the world’s assets,” he added.
Global travel and tourism is forecast to grow by 4.0% per year over the next decade, which is significantly faster than the global economy at 2.7% and all other sectors covered in the study apart from the financial sector and banking.