Tourism will demonstrate its enduring ability to create jobs and prosperity for the global economy in 2015 with the sector forecast to grow by 3.7 per cent, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council.
Every year, WTTC forecasts the economic impact of the tourism sector in 184 countries and 24 regions.
For 2015, these forecasts show a sector that is again growing strongly, creating jobs and driving growth.
In 2014, the industry contributed US$7,580 billion in GDP and 277 million jobs to the global economy.
During 2015, the industry’s contribution to global GDP is forecast to grow by 3.7 per cent and employment by 2.6 per cent.
This demonstrates the sector’s enduring ability to generate economic growth and create jobs at a faster rate than the global economy, which is due to grow by 2.9 per cent in 2015.
By the end of 2015, the tourism sector will contribute US$7,860 billion, ten per cent of global GDP, once all direct, indirect and induced impacts are taken into account.
The sector will account for 284 million jobs, 9.5 per cent of total employment, or one in eleven of all jobs on the planet.
WTTC forecasts that the United States and China will retain their rankings as the two biggest tourism economies in the world, but Germany has overtaken Japan to rank as the third largest travel economy.
Russia is the only G20 country expected to register a decline in tourism growth in 2015, due to the continuing sanctions being imposed and the devaluation of the rouble.
South Asia is expected to experience the highest growth in 2015 at 6.9 per cent, while Europe and Latin America are the regions with the lowest forecast growth of 2.4 per cent.
WTTC president David Scowsill said: “At a time of global economic challenges, Travel & Tourism continues to grow faster than the global economy, and is an enduring source of job creation and a driver of growth for every region in the world.
“Our annual research demonstrates that the sector has recorded strong economic growth in 19 out of the last 20 years, providing much-needed economic stability at a time of global economic volatility.”
Long-term forecasts for tourism show continued annual growth at 3.8 per cent over the next ten years to $11.4 trillion.
By 2025, the global tourism sector is expected to contribute 357 million jobs, some 73 million more jobs than this year.
Scowsill concluded: “The long-term prospects for our sector are very encouraging. tourism will continue to grow faster than the global economy and most other major industries.”