Tourism is projected to grow in the next decade reaching 15.5 trillion dollars by 2033, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).
More specifically, WTTC 2023 Economic Impact research reveals that in the next decade the industry will account for more than 11.6 percent of the global economy, a 50 percent rise over its value in pre-Covid 2019, when travel represented 10.4 percent of global GDP. According to WTTC projections, the sector will employ over 430 million people or 12 percent of the total working population in the world.
Indicative of the dynamic, the WTTC report found that 34 countries have already exceeded 2019 peak tourism performance. By the end of this year, the global industry is set to reach a value of 9.5 trillion dollars, a recovery of 95 percent over pre-pandemic 2019 levels. Report analysts note that despite the cost-of-living crisis in 2022, the industry grew by 2 percent year-on-year to 7.7 trillion dollars.
On top of that, spending by international travelers increased by a record 82 percent to 1.1 trillion in 2022, indicating that full recovery is a matter of time. The Top 5 strongest travel and tourism economies in 2022 based on GDP contribution were the US, China, Germany, UK and Japan.
“The travel and tourism sector continues to recover at pace, demonstrating the resilience of the sector and the enduring desire to travel. By the end of the year, the sector’s contribution will be within touching distance of the 2019 peak. We expect 2024 to exceed 2019,” said WTTC President and CEO Julia Simpson.
In an interview to Bloomberg, Simpson said economists expect global GDP to grow at an annual rate of about 2.6 percent but in travel and tourism, “we expect [annual growth] of around 5.1 percent”.