JOHANNESBURG – THE United States (US) remains the world’s biggest and most powerful travel and tourism market globally.
However, by 2032, China could overtake the US to become the world’s biggest market in the sector.
The latest World Travel and Tourism Council’s (WTTC’s) Economic Trends Report reveals the rankings and forecast.
This is despite the US suffering long and damaging travel restrictions which did little to halt the spread of COVID-19 and only resulted in serious economic losses.
While its number one position was retained, the US Travel and Tourism sector’s contribution to the nation’s economy fell by $700 billion in 2019, to just under $1,3 trillion last year.
Research by Oxford Economics for WTTC shows there has been no change in the top three countries – with China second and Germany third.
WTTC’s data reveals that in terms of the sector’s contribution to gross domestic product (GDP), China held onto its second position, with more than $814 billion, while tourism contributed 251 billion to the German economy.
Julia Simpson, WTTC President and CEO, said: “Our report shows the resilience of the travel and tourism sector, despite the impact of travel restrictions around the world which failed to halt the spread of the virus,” Simpson said.
She said despite a challenging macro environment, travel and tourism has bounced back and the world, with some exceptions, is travelling again.
“And we are seeing a resurgence in business travel. Over the next ten years, travel and tourism growth will outstrip the global economy,” Simpson said.
According to WTTC’s predictions, worldwide business travel is expected to grow more than 41 percent this year.
For the next ten years it predicts business travel could grow an average of 5,5 percent annually and may return faster in the Asia-Pacific region.
– CAJ News