London : In 34 countries worldwide, the travel and tourism industry has recovered tremendously enough to make economic activities exceed pre-pandemic levels of business. The global travel and tourism industry is forecasted to grow its GDP contribution worldwide to a staggering USD 15.5 trillion by 2033, according to the Economic Impact Research 2023 report of World Travel and Tourism Council. Globally, the travel and tourism industry is closing in on 2019 levels of economic activities, recovering by over 95 per cent, stated the latest report.
Speaking about the development, Julia Simpson, President and CEO, WTTC, said, "The Travel and Tourism sector continues to recover at pace, demonstrating the resilience of the sector and the enduring desire to travel. By the end of the year, the sector's contribution will be within touching distance of the 2019 peak. We expect 2024 to exceed 2019."
In 2023 alone, travel and tourism industry is expected to reach USD 9.5 trillion, which is merely 5 per cent below 2019 pre-pandemic levels when travel was at its highest.
As per the report, the industry would represent 11.6 per cent of the global economy.
Additionally, it is expected that travel and tourism will employ some 430 million people around the world by 2033, which would amount to about 12 per cent of the planet's working population.
Despite the economic and geopolitical difficulties that dominated 2022, travel and tourism experienced significant post-pandemic recovery last year. Specifically, the industry grew 2 per cent year-on-year to reach USD 7.7 trillion, representing 7.6 per cent of the global economy in 2022, the highest sector contribution since 2019.
The global GDP for the industry is still 22.9 per cent behind its 2019 peak. In 2021, the travel and tourism industry grew 24.7 percent year-on-year.
Various global challenges and issues continue to impact the travel industry including the conflict in Ukraine.
The recent decision by the Chinese government to reopen its borders from January is expected to propel the sector and allow it to recover to pre-pandemic levels next year, said the report.