TTC Special: World Tourism: A new bonanza approaching?

By Frank Martin

A lucky number for world tourism may be 2023.

In the  current year worldwide sector approaches the “peak” it reached in 2019, recovering step by step to the about 95% of the serious collapse caused by the pandemic.

The analysis is from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) which is based on an optimism that has been growing more and more rapidly since 2022 when the branch recovered no less than 22 million jobs.

Statistics are crushing any tendency to pessimism. The forecast for the year to date is impressive: the sector is projected to reach $9.5 trillion, just 5% below pre-pandemic levels in 2019, when travel was at its highest.

There are also 34 countries that have already exceeded 2019 levels.

Another prediction with firm foundations for 2023 is that employment in the world tourism industry will have a big recovery.

Experts interviewed by TTC about these results stressed that this confirms what is already seen in almost all world destinations and that is that despite obstacles including the war in Ukraine and certain late modalities of Covid-19, now in retreat, the branch vacation universal expands.

These specialists thank last year, mainly, for the advances when the sector reached the value of 7.7 trillion dollars.

The WTTC investigation accepts that the war in Europe and the prolonged travel restrictions imposed by several countries such as China acted as brakes on the recovery.

However, certain adjustments and measures have had a beneficial effect on the industry, among others the decision of the Chinese government to reopen its borders as of last January.

Bonanza seems to be spreading more and more. The Caribbean and Latin America in general are waiting for it to take off.

Given a slow recovery in this part of the world, specialized studies advise reactivating the labor markets in the area, limiting increases in the cost of living, improving tax collection and protecting vulnerable groups, and investing in social policies well designed and in universal health.

Some figures still favor pessimism. For example, ECLAC, that is, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean of the United Nations, estimated that its economic growth will be 1.3%. throughout this year. The Caribbean, however, shows the highest of these growths.

The regional results do not deny, however, what happens in the world in general with the tourist numbers.

In 2022 jobs in the tourism sector worldwide increased to 21.6 million new jobs which led in 2022 to more than 295 million.

Julia Simpson, President and CEO of WTTC, said: “The travel and tourism industry recovered a pace globally, demonstrating the industry’s resilience and enduring desire to travel.

And the decade beginning in 2023 and ending in 2033 is expected to be a bonanza.

WTTC forecasts that the sector will increase its contribution to GDP to 15.5 trillion by 2033, representing 11.6% of the global economy and employing 430 million people worldwide, with almost 12% of the population. Actively employed in the sector. It won’t be bad.