Travel and tourism: the ever economic growing industry.


Byline: Nazir Ahmed Shaikh

The travel and tourism industry is an important part of the overall global economy and is particularly important in some developing nations, where it can help to reduce poverty. In 2018, the industry helped generate 10.4% of world GDP and a similar share of employment, and has shown enormous resilience over the last decade. Fueling this expansion and relative resilience is the ongoing growth of the middle-class in Asia and other parts of the world. In the coming decade, industry contribution to GDP is expected to rise by nearly 50%.

In 2016 the travel and tourism industry have a global economic contribution (direct, indirect and induced) of over 7.6 trillion US dollars. The direct economic impact of the industry, including accommodation, transportation, entertainment and attractions, was approximately 2.3 trillion US dollars that year. A number of countries, such as France and the United States, are consistently popular tourism destinations, but other, less well-known countries are quickly emerging in order to reap the economic benefits of the industry.

Worldwide, the tourism industry has experienced steady growth almost every ear. International tourist arrivals increased from 528 million in 2005 to 1.19 billion in 2015 and the global international tourism revenue reached approximately 1.26 trillion US dollars, having almost doubled since 2005. That year, China had the largest international tourism expenditure, followed by the United States and Germany. The leading city in international visitor spending was Dubai, where tourists spent more than 31.3 billion US dollars in 2016.

Figures were forecasted to exceed 1.8 billion by 2030. Each year, Europe receives the most international tourist arrivals. It also produces the most travelers: with approximately 607 million outbound tourists in 2015, the region had more than double that of the second largest tourist origin, the Asia Pacific region.

The global hotel industry generates approximately between 400 and 500 billion US dollars in revenue each year, one third of that revenue is attributable to the United States. Countries such as the US, France, and Spain fight over leadership in this sector with the aim of positioning themselves as the world's first tourist power, which to say the least, is a very profitable objective. The tourism industry not only generates revenues for a country and cultural wealth, but it is also one of the most important economic engines for...

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