LONDON: The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) believes the global travel and tourism sector could contribute $8.6 trillion in global GDP this year.
In 2019, before the pandemic struck, the sector generated nearly $9.2 trillion for the global economy.
However, in 2020, the pandemic brought the sector to an almost complete halt, causing a massive 49.1% drop.
The latest research from WTTC shows that as the world finally begins to recover, the sector’s contribution to the global economy and jobs could reach almost pre-pandemic levels if the recovery continues to pick up the pace.
This is dependent on the vaccine and booster rollout continuing at pace this year, and restrictions to international travel are eased.
WTTC’s research also shows that the sector’s contribution to global employment could reach more than 330 million, just 1% below pre-pandemic levels.
Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO, said: “Over the past two years, due to severe travel restrictions around the world, the sector has suffered tremendous losses.”
“Our latest research clearly shows that there is light at the end of the tunnel, and 2022 is certainly looking more positive.”
The global tourism body also urges governments to continue to implement digital solutions which enable travelers to easily prove their status in a simplified and secure way.