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World Travel & Tourism Council Forecasts a Continuation of Rapid Industry Growth

Features & Advice | World Travel & Tourism Council | Patrick Clarke | April 14, 2015

World Travel & Tourism Council Forecasts a Continuation of Rapid Industry Growth

Ahead of this week's 2015 Global Summit in Madrid, Spain, the World Trade & Tourism Council recently announced that the tourism sector's contribution to global GDP is forecasted to grow by 3.7 percent in 2015, according to a press release.

Meanwhile, the industry's contribution to employment worldwide is expected to rise 2.6 percent. 

Therefore, by the conclusion of 2015, the tourism sector is expected to have contributed $7,860 billion (10 percent) of global GDP and accounted for 284 million jobs (9.5 percent) globally. 

"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," noted WTTC president David Scowsill in a statement. "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." 

Last year, the tourism industry contributed $7,580 billion in GDP and 277 million jobs to the global economy.

Diving deeper into the WTTC's annual forecast, the U.S. and China are expected to remain as the top two travel and tourism economies on the planet. However, there is one notable change at the top, where Germany has surpassed Japan as the world's third-largest travel and tourism economy.

Nonetheless, South Asia is predicted to experience the highest growth this year at 6.9 percent.

But on the other hand, Europe and Latin America have the lowest forecasted growth at just 2.4 percent.

Looking beyond 2015, the long-term forecast projects continued annual growth at a rate of 3.8 percent over the next decade to a figure of roughly $11.4 trillion. By that point in 2025, the tourism section is expected to contribute to 357 million jobs worldwide. 

"The long-term prospects for our sector are very encouraging," concluded Scowsill. "Tourism will continue to grow faster than the global economy and most other major industries."

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