The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), which represents global Travel & Tourism private sector, has released a new Social Impact Paper focusing on the Travel & Tourism sector, which has been compiled to showcase the importance of Travel & Tourism as a driver of social impact.
This paper is part of a major WTTC initiative and that will see further work in the future. The first iteration of the initiative is the Social Impact Paper, which shows how much of an important role Travel & Tourism plays, not only in driving economic growth, but also in enhancing social progress across the world through its diverse and inclusive nature, ability in enriching communities and as a creator of jobs and alleviating poverty, and catalyst for innovation and entrepreneurship. The paper says that raising awareness and understanding of the social impact of Travel & Tourism has always been tremendously important but is that much more critical in light of the devastating impact of COVID-19 on Travel & Tourism globally.
This research, undertaken in collaboration with the Social Progress Imperative (SPI), shows significant correlations between WTTC’s Economic Impact Report data and Social Progress Index scores over the last decade. Specifically, total contribution of Travel & Tourism to GDP and Employment positively and significantly affects Social Progress Index scores; with China, Cambodia, Rwanda and Sri Lanka highlighted as particularly strong performers. This comes at a time where the Travel & Tourism sector has been ravished by the pandemic, and there is a pressing need to recover the hundreds of millions of jobs lost, with WTTC’s latest economic modelling suggesting that 174 million jobs were impacted in 2020 globally.
According to the research, in many parts of the world Travel & Tourism has enriched people at a faster rate than the overall economy. Between 2011 and 2019, South East Asia recorded the fastest annual growth rate in Travel & Tourism GDP per capita at 6.7% compared to the region’s 3.7% overall economy growth; while the Middle East achieved a 3% Travel & Tourism GDP per capita growth compared to just 0.3% for the overall region’s economy.
International Travel & Tourism, and particularly, international spend, is vital to support the job creation from megacities to rural communities. According to the research, at the global level, for every 34 international visitors to a destination, one new job is created. This figure is more important in Africa, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East, where it respectively takes 11, 13 and 24 international visitors for the creation of one new job. The paper also shows that for every $1 generated in direct Travel & Tourism GDP globally, more than $2 is generated indirectly. This means that more than twice as much value is generated across the entire supply chain thanks to Travel & Tourism. For every direct job globally, nearly two new jobs are created on an indirect or induced basis, with one direct job in Travel & Tourism effectively creating a total of three jobs.
Additionally, diversity in the travel ecosystem, as it relates to race, ethnicity, gender, culture, religion, and physical ability, is fundamental to the success of businesses, the meaningful impact on communities, and the improved experience of travellers. Gloria Guevara, President & CEO, WTTC said: “WTTC is proud to release this important research focusing on social impact, which highlights how critical Travel & Tourism is to our world.
“Travel & Tourism is one of the most diverse sectors, employing people from all socio-economic backgrounds regardless of age, gender or ethnicity, with almost 54% of whom are women and up to 30% youths. “After nearly a full year of insecurity and hardship that has come from the COVID-19 pandemic, the time could not be more appropriate to celebrate the importance of the sector.”
According to WTTC’s 2020 Economic Impact Report, during 2019, Travel & Tourism supported one in 10 jobs (330 million total), made a 10.3% contribution to global GDP, and generated one in four of all new jobs.