Strategies & Tactics

Around the World, Travel and Tourism Is Growing

May 1, 2019

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Worldwide travel and tourism grew by 3.9 percent in 2018, a higher rate than any other economic sector but manufacturing, Forbes reported. Travel added a record $8.8 trillion to the world’s combined gross domestic product last year — up from $8.3 trillion in 2017 — and 319 million new jobs.

According to the World Travel & Tourism Council, the industry generated 10.4 percent of global economic activity in 2018, aided greatly by rapid tourism growth in regions such as Oceania (comprising islands in the Southwest Pacific, including New Zealand, along with Australia and the Malay Archipelago), Southeast Asia, India and China.

In terms of economic impact, the European region was the largest travel and tourism market last year, generating $2.2 trillion. Northeast Asia, which includes China, ranked second, pulling in $2.1 trillion from travel and tourism. Travel in North America, including the United States, Canada and Mexico, contributed $1.9 trillion in total economic activity in 2018, up 8.2 percent from 2017. The United States itself remained the world’s largest travel and tourism market, contributing $1.6 trillion to the nation’s GDP in 2018, equal to 7.8 percent of the U.S. economy.

Gloria Guevara, president of the World Travel & Tourism Council, says the industry now creates one of every five new jobs worldwide. The lobby group expects travel and tourism to generate 100 million new jobs around the world over the next 10 years. — Greg Beaubien

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