Travel sector contributions to return to pre-pandemic level

April 21, 2022 Cristina Lee-Pisco 101 views

THE contributions of travel and tourism sector in the global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is expected to return to the pre-pandemic level by next year, the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) said yesterday.

WTTC president & CEO Julia Simpson, citing their latest Global Economic Impact Report (EIR), said travel and tourism is predicted to contribute USD9.6 trillion to the global gross domestic product (GDP) in 2023, a return to the USD9.6 trillion generated in 2019.

“We’re predicting today that by 2023, we will have returned to 2019 numbers in terms of global contribution of the travel and tourism act to $9.6 trillion. So that’s the global GDP forecast,” Simpson said.

She noted that in 2019, the global GDP was worth US$9.6 trillion and went down to 3.4 percent or US$4.8 trillion at the onset of the pandemic in 2020 adding the following year, it came back up to USD5.8 trillion or 21 percent.

By the end of 2022, the EIR predicted that the sector’s contribution is expected to further grow 43.7 percent to almost USD8.4 trillion, amounting to 8.5 percent of the total global economic GDP and just 13.3 percent behind 2019 levels.

“This year, we are regaining ground. Our data shows that by the end of 2022 we will have recovered to USD8.35 trillion. We are getting there and our customers are rediscovering travel,” Simpson said during the opening of the 2022 WTTC Global Summit in Manila.

Recovery in 2021 was slower than expected partly due to the impact of the Omicron variant but “mainly due to an uncoordinated approach” by governments over country-wide border closures, Simpson said.

The Philippines, which relied on domestic tourism throughout the pandemic, generated some USD41 billion or about 10.4 percent of the country’s GDP in the same year, according to its EIR for the country.

“For a sector that accounts for over 10 percent of global GDP pre-pandemic, and a substantial percentage of global employment; travel and tourism promises the most significant growth as the world begins to lessen restrictions on movement. It is on this promise that the Philippines anchors its resolve in supporting the recovery of the industry,” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said.

EIR forecasts said global travel and tourism is likely to climb by an average annual rate of 5.8 percent to USD14.6 trillion by 2032, at least 11.3 percent of the total global economy.

It also showed that tourism employment will likewise see an improvement within the next years.

The WTTC projected that in 2022 alone, global travel and tourism jobs is expected to increase to 300 million.

In 2019, Simpson said 333 million people have been employed in travel and tourism around the world but many became jobless at the onset of the pandemic.

She said in 2020, tourism employment has recovered back up to 299 million jobs.