Alongside our Insights reports, WTTC produces reports on the economic and employment impact of Travel & Tourism for 185 countries/economies and 25 geographic or economic regions in the world. These reports, in conjunction with Oxford Economics, are a vital tool in helping us to equip public and private sector bodies with hard evidence of the huge value Travel & Tourism brings to the economy, so that their policymaking and investment decisions support our sector.
Prior to the pandemic, Travel & Tourism (including its direct, indirect and induced impacts) accounted for 1 in 4 of all new jobs created across the world, 10.3% of all jobs (333 million), and 10.3% of global GDP (US$9.6 trillion). Meanwhile, international visitor spending amounted to US$1.8 trillion in 2019 (6.8% of total exports).
WTTC’s latest annual research shows:
Following a loss of almost US$4.9 trillion in 2020 (-50.4% decline), Travel & Tourism's contribution to GDP increased by US$1 trillion (+21.7% rise) in 2021.
In 2019, the Travel & Tourism sector contributed 10.3% to global GDP; a share which decreased to 5.3% in 2020 due to ongoing restrictions to mobility. 2021 saw the share increasing to 6.1%.
In 2020, 62 million jobs were lost, representing a drop of 18.6%, leaving just 271 million employed across the sector globally, compared to 333 million in 2019. 18.2 million jobs were recovered in 2021, representing an increase of 6.7% year-on-year.
Following a decrease of 47.4% in 2020, domestic visitor spending increased by 31.4% in 2021.
Following a decrease of 69.7% in 2020, international visitor spending rose by 3.8% in 2021.
From the outset, our Members realised that hard economic facts were needed to help governments and policymakers truly understand the potential of Travel & Tourism. Measuring the size and growth of Travel & Tourism and its contribution to society, therefore, plays a vital part in underpinning WTTC’s work.
What research does WTTC carry out?
Each year, WTTC and Oxford Economics produce reports covering the economic contribution of our sector in 185 countries, for 25 economic and geographic regions, and for more than 70 cities. We also benchmark Travel & Tourism against other economic sectors and analyse the impact of government policies affecting the sector such as jobs and visa facilitation.
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 & Tourism’s contribution to national economic activity.
This includes the number of jobs and GDP created by the Travel & Tourism sector, both directly and in total, and measured as a percentage contribution of total economy employment and GDP.
An increasing number of countries are compiling elements/full Tourism Satellite Accounts (TSA) which can provide more detailed statistics than this research. The WTTC/Oxford Economics research is designed to complement country TSA exercises.
For more information, please view our Methodology Report.