WTTC forecasts record-breaking year for travel and tourism in 2024

WTTC forecasts record-breaking year for travel and tourism in 2024

Council urges US and China to support sector as their recovery rate lags behind other countries

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has forecast a record-breaking year for travel and tourism in 2024, with the sector’s global economic contribution set to reach an all-time high of US$11.1 trillion.

The global tourism body’s 2024 Economic Impact Research (EIR) estimates the sector will contribute an additional US$770 billion more than its previous record – generating one in every 10 dollars worldwide.

It expects 142 countries of 185 analysed will be outperforming previous national records.

The report, produced with Oxford Economics, states the travel and tourism sector accounts for almost 348 million jobs globally. This represents an increase of more than 13.6 million jobs compared to its highest point in 2019.

International visitor spending is expected to be close to the 2019 peak at US$1.89 trillion, while domestic tourists are forecast to spend more than in any year on record, hitting US$5.4 trillion.

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Julia Simpson, WTTC president and chief executive, said: “Against the backdrop of uncertainty, the travel and tourism sector remains a global economic powerhouse. This isn’t just about breaking records; we’re no longer talker about a recovery – this is a story of the sector back at its best after a difficult few years, providing a significant economic boost to countries around the world and supporting millions of jobs.

“There’s a risk, however; we need the US and Chinese governments to support their national travel and tourism sectors. The US and China will continue to suffer while other countries are seeing international visitors return much faster.”

The WTTC said international visitor spending in the US last year remained more than a quarter below the peak of 2019, while China’s visitor spend remained almost 60% down.

Looking ahead, WTTC is forecasting a “promising” future for the next decade, characterised by “robust growth and unparalleled career opportunities”.

The report concluded: By 2034, the sector will supercharge the global economy with a staggering US$16 trillion, making up 11.4% of the entire economic landscape. This booming industry is also set to be a job creation juggernaut, providing employment for 449 million people worldwide.


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