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The pandemic has halved Travel & Tourism’s contribution to world GDP, WTTC says


The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has taken stock of the world and described the (disheartening) picture painted by the pandemic. According to the latest report on economic and employment impact, produced in collaboration with Oxford Economics, the tourism sector lost between 4.5 and 4.7 trillion dollars, with a contribution to global GDP collapsed by 49.1 per percent compared to 2019, going from 10.6 to 5.5%.

In 2020, 62 million jobs were lost, representing a drop of 18.5%, leaving just 272 million employed across the sector globally, compared to 334 million in 2019. The threat of job losses persists as many jobs are currently supported by government retention schemes and reduced hours, which without a full recovery of Travel & Tourism could be lost. Domestic visitor spending decreased by 45%, while international visitor spending declined by an unprecedented 69.4%.

Prior to the pandemic, Travel & Tourism (including its direct, indirect and induced impacts) accounted for 1 in 4 of all new jobs created across the world, 10.6% of all jobs (334 million), and 10.4% of global GDP (US$9.2 trillion). Meanwhile, international visitor spending amounted to US$1.7 trillion in 2019 (6.8% of total exports, 27.4% of global services exports).

Each year, WTTC and Oxford Economics produce reports covering the economic contribution of our sector in 185 countries, for 25 economic and geographic regions, and for more than 70 cities. The two companies also benchmark Travel & Tourism against other economic sectors and analyse the impact of government policies affecting the sector such as jobs and visa facilitation.

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