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Contribution of Travel and Tourism to the Global Economy

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Editor’s Remarks:
The past decade has seen the direct economic contribution of travel and tourism grow from $1.91trn to approximately $2.31trn in 2016, with total contributions growing from $6.03trn to $7.61trn. North America, Europe and North East Asia are the largest contributors to this figure but growth rates are highest in developing nations in Africa and Asia. The high growth rates in these developing countries have been due to many of these countries getting switched onto the undoubted economic benefits of developing tourism infrastructure, coupled with cheaper airfares and a trend for more adventurous travel amongst Western tourists. However, the backdrop in 2017 feels less positive. Consolidation in the airline sector has led to some reversal of the cheap airfare trend. Terrorism and anti-globalisation sentiment have been on the rise, and statistics from the US already show a negative effect on tourist arrivals in the US because of President Trump’s attempted travel bans and restrictions on electronic devices on US inbound flights. Airlines, hotel groups and other tourism-related industries will be keeping a close eye to see if these factors impact the 2017 figures and have a lasting effect on their industries.

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