People, Travel

Global Tourism Sector to Grow 3.5% in 2015

Global Tourism Sector to Grow 3.5% in 2015Global Tourism Sector to Grow 3.5% in 2015

Global travel and tourism sector is set to grow by 3.5% by the end of this year despite the many challenges that have rocked the industry in 2015.

The figure was taken from the World Travel and Tourism Council’s annual autumn update to its Economic Impact research, and is slightly lower than the forecast at the beginning of the year. This was mostly due to weaker domestic spending, TTG Media reported.

The growth, however, is in line with the UN World Tourism Organization’s prediction earlier this year, which suggested a 3% to 4% growth in 2015.

Tour and travel has been harmed by a series of economic and natural disaster challenges this year, as well as devastating terrorist attacks.

These include the diseases of MERS in South Korea and Ebola in West Africa; natural disasters, such as the earthquake in Nepal and typhoons in the Philippines; terrorism attacks in Tunisia, Egypt, Turkey, Lebanon, France and Mali; and political turmoil and continued unrest in Ukraine and Syria.

David Scowsill, president and chief executive of WTTC said: “Travel and tourism is a tremendously resilient sector. Despite a number of terrible regional incidents throughout the year, the sector will still grow 1% faster than global GDP in 2015.”

In total, WTTC estimates that the sector’s total contribution to the world economy in 2015 will be $7.8 trillion and will support 284 million jobs around the world.

Visitor exports – that is, money spent by foreign travelers - are forecast to grow by 2.9% in 2015, in line with the continuous growth of international travel.

South Asia is still expected to be the fastest growing travel and tourism region, with 7.7% growth, heavily stimulated by the growth in India.

Meanwhile Latin America is expected to be the slowest, with a low-level growth of 1.7%, predominantly caused by the slowdown of the Brazilian economy, which is estimated to decline by 2.1% this year, the WTTC said.

Over the next ten years, travel and tourism is anticipated to contribute $11.3 trillion in GDP to the world economy and will support 355 million jobs worldwide, equating to one in 10 jobs on the planet.