Highlighting the significance of tourism to the area, a new study has found that the travel and tourism industry in the Americas region is three times the size of automotive manufacturing and a third larger than the global chemicals and mining industries.
Released at the World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) inaugural Regional Summit of the Americas in Riviera Maya, Mexico, the WTTC study revealed that the sector’s direct contribution to the Americas GDP in 2011 was US$666 billion, while its total contribution to GDP was valued at around $1.9 trillion.
This compares favorably to the automotive, mining and chemicals industries, which contributed six, six and seven per cent to GDP respectively.
In addition to this, the research found that travel and tourism’s contribution to GDP was increasing more rapidly than most other sectors in the region – according to the survey, the industry will grow by 3.6 per cent over the next ten years, compared to the growth rates of mining (1.5%), education (2%), chemicals (2.5%) and financial services (3.4%).
On the jobs front, the research undertaken by Oxford Economics, found that travel and tourism directly employed some 15 million people, easily surpassing the job creation of mining (2.5m), chemicals manufacturing (2.5m), automotive (4m) and financial services (10m).
Proving that expenditure on travel was “more powerful” than that of most other sectors, the study showed that for every US$1 million spent on tourism and hospitality in Mexico, the industry generated a further $1.5 million to the overall national economy as well as 66 jobs (compared to an average of 42 for all sectors).
Case studies on the United States, Canada, Jamaica, Brazil and Argentina drew similar conclusions.
WTTC president and chief executive David Scowsill said the findings were “extraordinary”.
“These figures prove that it is time that the governments really sit up and take notice of the travel and tourism industry,” he remarked.
“As a driver of economic recovery and growth in a very turbulent time, the industry stands apart for the sheer scale of its ability to create jobs and growth in every part of the globe and especially in the Americas as shown by this study.”
In related news, research by UNWTO and WTTC presented at the T20 Ministers’ Meeting in Merida, Mexico, has revealed that improving international visa processes may create an additional five million jobs in G20 economies by 2015.According to the study, better visa processing could see G20 economies boost their international tourist numbers by around 122 million in three years, generating an extra $206 billion in tourism exports.
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: M.H