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2012 again demonstrated how resilient travel and tourism industry is, WTTC president says

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By Nelson Alcantara, Editor-in-Chief | Feb 28, 2013

(eTN) - Fresh off the release of the World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) favorable 2012 global travel and tourism industry economic report, the organization’s president and CEO, David Scowsill, is already optimistic the same result will be achieved this year.

In a statement released early today, Scowsill said: “2012 demonstrated again just how resilient the travel and tourism industry is. Despite many economic difficulties, last year, for the first time, we saw more than one billion international travelers cross an international border. This industry is an important driver for countries’ economic development and growth strategies. Our industry is responsible for creating jobs, lifting people out of poverty, and broadening horizons. But we need international institutions and governments to recognize its strength, to remove restrictive visa and tax regimes, and to work with the private sector to stimulate that growth.”

According to the WTTC president, it is clear that the industry is going to be a significant driver of global growth and employment for the next decade. “The rise in emerging market destinations explains some of the strong growth in travel and tourism (particularly employment). As the shift from a manufacturing to a services’ economy increases in many countries, so the share of travel and tourism employment out of total employment will increase, as will the share of tourism’s contribution to total GDP.”

Growing faster than any other economy is China, WTTC’s report revealed. The organization, which is comprised of 100 of the most influential travel and tourism executives from around the world, even went on to predict that “China will overtake the United States to be the world’s biggest travel and tourism economy by 2023.”

WTTC’s report also claims that the travel and tourism industry has outperformed the global economy in 2012 – growing faster than manufacturing, retail, financial services, and communications. “The industry has grown its total contribution to GDP by 3 percent and increased the number of jobs by 5 million to 260 million. It means that, for the first time, one in 11 of all jobs in the world are now supported by travel and tourism. More than 10 percent of all new jobs created in 2012 were from the industry.”

According to the WTTC economic research, in 2012, travel and tourism’s total economic contribution - taking account of its direct, indirect, and induced impacts - was US$6.6 trillion in GDP (a rise of US$500 billion year-on-year), US$765 billion in investment and US$1.2 trillion in exports (all 2012 prices). This contribution represents 9 percent of total GDP, 5 percent of total investment and 5 percent of world exports.

Among the 20 largest global economies (the G20), South Korea, China, South Africa, and Indonesia performed best. Growth of less than 1 percent in Europe and 2 percent in the United States was counter-balanced by 10 percent growth in South Korea, 7 percent in China and South Africa, and 6 percent in Indonesia.

WTTC is predicting the travel and tourism industry will expand its total contribution to GDP by 3.2 percent in 2013, faster than the 2.4 percent predicted for global economic growth. The industry is expected to support nearly 266 million jobs in 2013 and again outperform many other industries.

Separately, WTTC is currently preparing for this year’s edition of its annual global summit. This year, the summit is going to be held in Abu Dhabi from April 8 to 11. It has been confirmed that among the luminaries attending this year’s gathering is former US President Bill Clinton, who has signed on to deliver the event’s keynote address. To learn more about this event, point your browser to: http://wttc.org/events/abudhabi-2013/

2012 again demonstrated how resilient travel and tourism industry is, WTTC president says

WTTC president David Scowsill (Image via WTTC)



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