Travel and tourism contribution to GDP could reach $8.6 trillion in 2022

Travel and tourism contribution to GDP could reach $8.6 trillion in 2022

To fuel recovery, WTTC says governments must focus on vaccine rollout and allow fully vaccinated travellers to move freely 

New research from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has revealed that as the global travel and tourism sector begins to recover from the ravages of the Covid-19 pandemic, its contribution to the global economy could reach $8.6 trillion in 2022.

In 2019, before the pandemic struck, the sector generated nearly $9.2 trillion to the global economy

In 2020, the pandemic brought the sector to an almost complete halt, causing a massive 49.1% drop, representing a severe loss of nearly $4.5 trillion.

Latest research from WTTC shows that as the world finally begins to recover from pandemic, the sector’s contribution to the global economy and jobs could reach almost pre-pandemic levels if the recovery of the sector continues to pick up pace.

Research by the global tourism body shows that if the vaccine and booster rollout continue at pace this year, and international travel restrictions are eased around the world, increasing the number of people who can travel ‘quarantine free’, the sectors contribution to the global economy could reach $8.6 trillion, just 6.4% down on pre-pandemic levels.

To reach close to the pre-pandemic global GDP and employment levels, WTTC says governments around the world must continue focussing on the vaccine and booster rollout, allowing fully vaccinated travellers to move freely without the need for additional testing, and those not vaccinated should be allowed to travel with a negative test result.

WTTC’s research also shows that the sector’s contribution to global employment could reach more than 330 million, just 1% below pre-pandemic levels and up 21.5% up on 2020 representing a massive 58 million more jobs.


Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO, said: “Over the past two years, due to severe travel restrictions around the world, the global travel and tourism sector has suffered tremendous losses.

“Our latest research clearly shows that there is light at the end of the tunnel, and 2022 is certainly looking more positive in terms of both jobs and the economy. However, there is much more work to be done if we are to bring back all the jobs lost and achieve a full economic recovery.

With so much is at stake, it’s vital we continue driving the recovery of our sector

“Governments must shift their risk assessment from entire countries to the individual traveller and allow the fully vaccinated to travel freely.”

The global tourism body also urges governments to continue to implement digital solutions that enable travellers to easily prove their status in a simplified and secure way, and increase global harmonisation of measures and avoid any patchwork.

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