Travel and tourism GDP is expected to outpace the overall economy in the next 10 years
The latest Economic Impact Report (EIR) from the World Travel & Tourism Council reveals that the travel and tourism sector in the Middle East is expected to create nearly 3.6 million new jobs over the next decade.
The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) forecast, which indicates an average of 360,000 new jobs each year, also reveals that the sector will lead the region’s economic recovery, with average annual growth expected to outpace the economy. globally over the next 10 years. years.
According to the report, travel and tourism GDP is expected to grow at an average rate of 7.7% per year between 2022 and 2032, three times the 2.5% growth rate of the region’s overall economy. to reach nearly $540 billion (10.1% of the total economy).
The sector’s contribution to GDP is expected to increase by more than 36% to over $256 billion by the end of 2022, or 6.5% of total economic GDP, while employment in the sector is expected to increase by 8.7% this year to reach more than six million jobs.
The global tourism body’s annual report also shows further optimism for the region’s travel and tourism GDP, which could nearly reach pre-pandemic levels by 2023 – just 2.5% in below 2019 levels.
Julia Simpson, President and CEO of WTTC, said: “After a very difficult few years, the future looks brighter with travel and tourism expected to create 3.6 million new jobs in the Middle East. over the next decade.
“Looking forward this year and next, the outlook is more positive, with GDP and employment expected to nearly reach pre-pandemic levels.
“The recovery of the industry in the Middle East last year was certainly slower than expected, partly due to the impact of the Omicron variant.”
Before the pandemic, the travel and tourism sector’s contribution to GDP was 8.4% ($323.6 billion) in 2019, falling to just 4.5% ($162.6 billion) in 2020, which was a staggering loss of 49.8%.
The sector also supported 6.9 million jobs in the region in 2019.
The latest WTTC EIR report also reveals that 2021 has seen the start of recovery for the region’s travel and tourism sector.
Last year, its contribution to GDP climbed 15.9% year-on-year to $188.5 billion.
The sector also saw a recovery of more than 390,000 travel and tourism jobs, representing a positive increase of 7.6% to 5.6 million.
The sector’s contribution to the economy and jobs could have been higher had it not been for the impact of the Omicron variant, which has rocked the recovery around the world, with many countries reinstating severe travel restrictions.
Since the start of the pandemic, governments in the Middle East have demonstrated a full commitment to travel and tourism.
Saudi Arabia, in particular, has shown great leadership throughout the crisis, pushing for greater regional and global coordination and making a major investment in travel and tourism, not just in the country but all over the world. The global tourism body believes this support and commitment will accelerate the recovery of a sector critical to economies and livelihoods around the world.