The global travel and tourism sector is forecast to grow by 3.5% in 2015 despite the numerous challenges that have already occurred this year.
The figure is slightly lower than forecast at the beginning of the year, mostly due to weaker domestic spending, according to an annual autumn update by the World Travel & Tourism Council.
The WTTC cited many regional incidents that have impacted tourism economies throughout the world.
These include the diseases of MERS in South Korea and Ebola in West Africa; natural disasters, such as the earthquake in Nepal and typhoons in the Philippines; terrorism attacks in Tunisia, Egypt, Lebanon, France and Mali; political turmoil and continued unrest in Ukraine and Syria.
WTTC president and chief executive, David Scowsill, said: “Travel and tourism is a tremendously resilient sector. Despite a number of terrible regional incidents throughout the year, the sector will still grow 1% faster than global GDP in 2015.”
WTTC estimates that the sector’s total contribution to the world economy in 2015 will be $7.8 trillion and it will support 284 million jobs across the globe, underlining its “enormous significance” to the economy of the world.
Money spent by foreign travellers is forecast to grow by 2.9% percent in 2015, in line with the continuous growth of international travel.
South Asia is still expected to be the fastest growing region with 7.7% growth, heavily stimulated by the growth in India.
Latin America is expected to be the slowest growing region, with growth of just 1.7%. This is predominantly caused by the slowdown of the Brazilian economy, which is estimated to decline by 2.1% this year.
Travel and tourism is anticipated to contribute $11.3 trillion in GDP to the world economy and will support 355 million jobs worldwide over the next ten years. This equates to 1 in 10 jobs globally.
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