The latest Economic Impact Report (EIR) from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) reveals that the North American travel and tourism sector is expected to grow at an average annual rate of 3.9% over the next decade , surpassing the 2% growth rate for the regional economy and reaching an impressive $3.1 trillion in 2032.
Published in partnership with Oxford Economics, WTTC’s latest EIR also projects that travel and tourism in North America is expected to create 9.5 million new jobs between 2022 and 2032, with an average annual growth rate of 3.7%. .
The global tourism body predicts that this year the recovery will continue to gain momentum, with the sector’s contribution to GDP rising 38.2% to $2.1 trillion, with jobs up 19%.
The report also shows that the sector’s economic recovery is on track to reach pre-pandemic highs by 2023. Job prosperity is not far behind, with expectations to reach pre-pandemic levels by 2024.
“The pandemic has cost the North American travel and tourism sector 8.85 million jobs and nearly $1.1 trillion in GDP in 2020,” said Julia Simpson, President and CEO of WTTC. . “The U.S. travel and tourism sector is showing a strong recovery. While we respect the tough decisions of the CDC during the pandemic, science indicates that antigen testing for returning U.S. citizens and visitors is redundant. Other economies have removed all restrictions; current antigen testing is slowing recovery in the United States.
In 2021, travel and tourism GDP remained 33.7% below 2019 levels at $1.5 trillion, partly due to the impact of the Omicron variant and countries reinstating severe travel restrictions .
The United States and Mexico led inbound arrivals and departures respectively last year, fueling the resurgence of the travel and tourism sector for the continent.
Before the pandemic, the North American travel and tourism sector’s contribution to the total economy was 8.9% ($2.3 trillion) in 2019, falling to 5% ($1.25 trillion ) in 2020 due to the sharp drop in spending by international and domestic visitors when the pandemic was at its height. Employment suffered an equally devastating blow, with employment contributions falling by almost 35% between 2019 and 2020.
Regardless of these setbacks, the EIR 2022 forecasts a positive course change for the travel and tourism sector in North America, which is experiencing strong momentum and growth as it emerges from the broader challenges and restrictions facing are facing travel at the height of the pandemic.