Travel and tourism accounted for some 7 million new jobs globally in 2017 or one in five, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) yearly Economic Impact Research released on Thursday.
At the same time Europe’s performance also improved marking 4.8 percent growth thanks to increased long-haul demand, strong intra-regional travel and a robust European economy.
According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) in 2017, European airlines recorded passenger growth of 8.1 percent and over 1 billion passengers for the first time.
“Travel and tourism creates jobs, drives economic growth and helps build better societies,” said WTTC President and CEO Gloria Guevara.
“Our research shows that our sector was responsible for the creation of one in five of all jobs globally… Governments around the world are realising the extraordinary benefits of tourism.”
According to the WTTC report, in 2017 the sector directly or indirectly contributed 8.3 trillion dollars to global GDP (10.4 percent), accounted for 313 million jobs or one in 10 worldwide, and generated 1.5 trillion dollars in exports (6.5 percent of total exports and 28.8 percent of global services exports).
Travel and tourism also accounted for 882 billion dollars worth of investment (4.5 percent of total investment).
Guevara added that 2017 was the “best year on record for the travel and tourism sector”.
“We have seen increased spending as a result of growing consumer confidence, both domestically and internationally, recovery in markets in North Africa and Europe previously impacted by terrorism and continued outbound growth from China and India. This is great news for the millions of people who depend on our sector for their livelihoods.”
For 2018, forecasts suggest continued growth but at a slower pace due to higher oil prices. In the long-term, tourism and travel is set to grow by 3.8 percent per year over the next decade and by 2028 to support over 400 million jobs globally, or one in nine of all jobs worldwide, accounting for 25 percent of new job creation over the next decade.