Travel and tourism added 7.2 million new jobs in 2015

In 2015, global travel and tourism sector added 7.2 million jobs to the global economy and contributed over $ 7.2 trillion in GDP, according to the latest economic impact report of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).

“Despite uncertainty in the global economy and specific challenges to Travel & Tourism last year, the sector grew by 3.1 percent, contributing a total of 9.8 percent to the global GDP. Travel & Tourism also supported a total of 284 million jobs in 2015, an increase of 7.2 million, which means it now supports, directly and indirectly, 1 in 11 jobs on the planet,” said David Scowsill, President & CEO of the World Travel & Tourism Council in a press release on March 21 during the launch of the report, which covers 184 countries and 24 regions.

“Travel & Tourism once again has proved its resilient nature. Terror attacks, disease outbreaks, currency fluctuations and geopolitical challenges have impacted the sector at a country or regional level, but Travel & Tourism at the global level continues to produce another robust performance,” he added.

Country growth Travel & Tourism direct contribution to GDP growth outpaced overall GDP country growth in 127 of the 184 countries covered by the research.

Countries where Travel & Tourism most markedly outperformed the wider economy in 2015 include Iceland, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, and Uganda, according to the report.

The growth of the sector is stimulated by a worldwide increase in middle-class income households, an ageing population, which tends to travel more, and growing connectivity between destinations, making travel more accessible and affordable.

All regions of the world showed growth in total Travel & Tourism contribution to GDP in 2015, showed the report.

Southeast Asia was the fastest growing region with growth of 7.9 percent followed by South Asia, which grew 7.4 percent. Middle East grew 5.9 percent, Caribbean 5.1 percent, Sub-Saharan Africa 3.3 percent, North America 3.1 percent, Europe 2.5 percent, Northeast Asia 2.1 percent, Latin America 1.5 percent and North Africa 1.4 percent, according to the report.

Travel & Tourism’s total contribution to GDP is forecasted to grow by 3.5 percent in 2016, and is again expected to outpace global economic growth for the sixth consecutive year.

“Security concerns, border policies, oil prices, the strength of the U.S. dollar relative to other currencies, and other macroeconomic developments will continue to influence travel trends in 2016 and beyond.

Nevertheless, over the next decade, Travel & Tourism is expected to continue to outpace the world economy, growing by 4 percent on average annually,” said the report