With travel and tourism representing 8.8 per cent of the total economy in the Americas and approximately 45 million jobs, the sector will play a “critical role” in reviving the North American economy following the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new report by the World Travel & Tourism Council.
In its latest annual Economic Impact Report (EIR), WTTC shared that in 2019, travel and tourism accounts for 9.8 per cent of the total workforce in the Americas. The report also reveals international visitor spend totaled $324 billion, representing 7.3 per cent of all exports.
“WTTC’s 2020 Economic Impact Report (EIR) shows how the economic recovery in the Americas depends greatly on travel and tourism,” said Gloria Guevara, WTTC President & CEO. “Once this pandemic is at an end, producing new jobs and bringing business and leisure travelers back will encourage suppliers of all sizes to restore their efforts to meet the demand.”
According to the report, Americas had a higher percentage of leisure travel with 74 per cent compared to 26 per cent for business travel. In terms of spending the region relies heavily on domestic which will be critical to the region’s recovery with 81 per cent attributed to domestic spending versus 19 per cent international spending.
For two consecutive years, travel and tourism GDP growth outpaced the overall economy, growing at +2.2 per cent in 2019, while the economy showed a +1.9 per cent growth.
“Over the coming months, it will be crucial to call upon governments all over the world to ensure the survival of travel and tourism - which currently has, up to 75 million jobs at immediate risk globally, with up to 5.9 million at risk in the USA alone. The WTTC’s ongoing partnerships with government organizations will be key as we look to pave the way to economic recovery”, added Guevara.
On a global level, the travel and tourism sector outperformed the 2.5 per cent rate of global GDP growth for the ninth consecutive year in a row, thanks to an annual GDP growth rate of 3.5 per cent. This made it the global economy’s third highest sector in terms of GDP growth.
The EIR shows the sector supporting one in 10 (330 million) jobs, making a 10.3 per cent contribution to global GDP and generating one in four of all new jobs.
A breakdown by WTTC shows Asia Pacific to be the top performing region worldwide with an impressive growth rate of 5.5 per cent, followed very closely by the Middle East at 5.3 per cent. The US and EU both demonstrated a steady growth rate of 2.3 per cent, while the fastest growing country Saudi Arabia.
WTTC’s 2020 EIR AMERICAS report is available here.
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