Europe’s Travel & Tourism sector is expected to create nearly eight million new jobs within the next decade, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) latest Economic Impact Report (EIR).
The forecast from the WTTC, which represents the global Travel & Tourism private sector, also shows the sector will be a driving force behind Europe’s economic recovery, following more than two years of suffering.
“Europe’s Travel & Tourism sector is in a strong recovery. It looks set to create up to eight million new jobs over the next 10 years,” Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO, said.
“In terms of contribution to Europe’s economy and jobs, the sector will almost reach pre-pandemic levels by the end of next year as the sector’s recovery continues its momentum.”
Over the next 10 years and with an average annual growth rate of 3.3 percent, the Travel & Tourism sector is expected to grow at twice the rate of the overall economy, which is forecasted to expand by just 1.5 percent annually.
The global tourism body’s latest report also reveals Europe’s Travel & Tourism’s GDP is forecast to grow by 31.4 percent to 1.73 trillion euros(US$ 1.9 trillion).
WTTC’s EIR data for 2021 shows across Europe there was a 4.7 percent increase in the number of Travel & Tourism sector jobs accounting for just over 9 percent of all jobs, in marked contrast to the 12.5 percent fall the previous year.
The fastest growing region last year, it also saw the sector claw back its contribution to GDP with a 28 percent rise to account for 6.2 percent of Europe’s economy to 1.3 trillion euros (U.S.$1.45 trillion) up from 5.2 percent contribution (just over 1 trillion euros or U.S.$1.13 trillion in 2020).
Greece, Turkey and Italy helped Europe’s bounce back
Europe’s bounce back was in part driven by significant growth in key destination markets such as Greece, which saw a year-on-year growth of 75 percent, Turkey (61 percent), and Italy (59 percent).
The global tourism body also commends the EU Commission, which played a major role in the recovery of the sector with the launch of its Digital COVID Certificate last year.
According to the latest data, more than 1.7 billion certificates have been issued by member states. This successful roll out has provided a much-needed boost to economies and saved millions of jobs.
However, WTTC notes that in several other European countries, there was a much slower than expected recovery.
“The recovery in 2021 was slower than expected due to the impact of the Omicron and the uncoordinated response by European governments around border closures which failed to stop the spread of the virus, but did cause real and lasting damage to economies and livelihoods,” said WTTC’s president.