Travel and tourism contributed nearly $7 trillion to the world economy last year, accounting for 9.5 percent of global GDP, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), which last week published its annual economic impact report, “Travel & Tourism: Economic Impact 2014 – World.”
According to the report, which utilizes research from WTTC and the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), travel and tourism:
• Grew 3 percent in 2013, outpacing the general economy, which grew 2 percent in the same period;
• Created 4.7 million new jobs worldwide last year and supported total employment of 266 million — one in 11 of all jobs in the world; and
• Generated $1.3 trillion in visitor exports (i.e., the measure of money spent by international tourists) in 2013, a 4 percent increase from 2012.
WTTC projects that the industry will grow 4.3 percent in 2014 — compared to 2.8 percent growth in the general economy — and generate 6.5 million new jobs.
“The WTTC data underlines that travel and tourism is a key engine for continued global growth, which governments can’t afford to ignore,” WTTC President and CEO David Scowsill said in a statement. “2013 [was] a really good year with strong demand from long-haul markets. 2014 looks like it will be even sunnier, due to rising incomes and falling unemployment in many countries and stronger consumer spending. International travel will grow slightly faster than domestic travel, with the expanding middle class, particularly in emerging markets, playing a big part in that.”
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