WTTC Report Shows Cost of COVID-19 on Travel Industry

Prior to the pandemic, travel and tourism (including its direct, indirect, and induced impacts) accounted for one in four 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), said a new report released by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC). International visitor spending amounted to US$1.7 trillion in 2019 (6.8% of total exports, 27.4% of global services exports).

WTTC’s latest annual research also shows that:

  • the travel and tourism sector lost almost US$4.5 trillion to reach US$4.7 trillion in 2020, with the contribution to GDP dropping to 49.1% compared to 2019; this is relative to a 3.7% GDP decline of the global economy in 2020;
  • In 2019, the travel and tourism sector contributed 4% to global GDP which decreased to 5.5% in 2020 because of restrictions to mobility;
  • In 2020, 62 million jobs were lost, leaving 272 million employed across the sector globally, compared to 334 million in 2019;
  • Domestic visitor spending decreased by 45%, while international visitor spending declined by 4%.

The main objective of the WTTC/Oxford Economics economic impact research is to provide, on an annual basis consistent, reliable, timely, and comparable data and forecasts to assess travel and tourism’s contribution to national economic activity. This includes the number of jobs and GDP created by the travel and tourism sector, both directly and in total, and measured as a percentage contribution of total economy employment and GDP.

The full report can be viewed and downloaded here: https://wttc.org/Research/Economic-Impact.

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