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Tourism sector yields 7.2 million new jobs in 2015

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 29/03/2016 Nicholas Kontis

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The field of travel is one of the largest industries of the planet. Just imagine the impact of travel on some of the world's most popular nations that travel aficionados visit. Nations like Greece, Nepal, Thailand, Costa Rica and Mexico are just a handful of nations where travelers love to visit, and where thousands of jobs are created by the industry as a whole.
However, if you ever wonder if tourism matters see the facts. According to the World Travel & Tourism Council's Economic Impact Report for 2016, last year travel and tourism added an astounding 7 million jobs the global economy and a record number 7.2 trillion USD in GDP.
The Economic Impact Reports, WTTC's flagship annual research, provide economic data on the contribution of the Travel & Tourism sector on a global level as well as for 184 countries and 24 regions.
David Scowsill, President & CEO of the World Travel & Tourism Council, said: "Despite uncertainty in the global economy and specific challenges to Travel & Tourism last year, the sector grew by 3.1%, contributing a total of 9.8% to the global GDP. Travel & Tourism also supported a total of 284 million jobs in 2015, an increase of 7.2 million, which means it now supports, directly and indirectly, 1 in 11 jobs on the planet.
Scowsill added: "Travel & Tourism once again has proved its resilient nature. Terror attacks, disease outbreaks, currency fluctuations and geopolitical challenges have impacted the sector at a country or regional level, but Travel & Tourism at the global level continues to produce another robust performance."
Country growth
Travel & Tourism direct contribution to GDP growth outpaced overall GDP country growth in 127 of the 184 countries covered by the research. Countries where Travel & Tourism most markedly outperformed the wider economy in 2015 include Iceland, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, and Uganda.
The growth of the sector is stimulated by a worldwide increase in middle-class income households, an ageing population, which tends to travel more and growing connectivity between destinations, making travel more accessible and affordable.
Regional performance
All regions of the world showed growth in total Travel & Tourism contribution to GDP in 2015. Southeast Asia was the fastest growing region with growth of 7.9% followed by South Asia, which grew 7.4%. Middle East grew 5.9%, Caribbean 5.1%, Sub-Saharan Africa 3.3%, North America 3.1%, Europe 2.5%, Northeast Asia 2.1%, Latin America 1.5% and North Africa 1.4%.
Outlook for 2016 and beyond
In 2016, Travel & Tourism's total contribution to GDP is forecast to grow by 3.5%, and is again expected to outpace global economic growth for the sixth consecutive year.
Security concerns, border policies, oil prices, the strength of the US dollar relative to other currencies, and other macroeconomic developments will continue to influence travel trends in 2016 and beyond. Nevertheless, over the next decade, Travel & Tourism is expected to continue to outpace the world economy, growing by 4% on average annually.

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