Tourism potential to create jobs immense


Air travel provides vital links for the burgeoning global tourism industry. It is estimated that over half (58 per cent) of all international tourists travel by air, so the aviation and tourism industries depend on each other for sustainable growth.

Tourism makes a major contribution to the global economy. It supports 319 million jobs and contributes $8.8 trillion to world GDP (10.4 per cent of the global economy). By 2029, the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) expects tourism to provide 421 million jobs globally.

Tourism is essential to economic development strategies in many developing countries, particularly in remote regions far away from their source tourism markets that rely on a steady inflow of tourists. Without the influx of tourists, their economies would decline significantly.

In Africa, an estimated 7.7 million people are employed as a result of the continuous arrival of overseas visitors, most of whom arrive by air. In 2018, these workers contributed $44 billion to GDP in African economies. In some Caribbean countries, tourism provides one of the few means of economic growth.

Aviation’s contribution to tourism employment and GDP is significant – Direct: It is estimated that globally 19.6 million jobs in tourism are supported by spending of foreign visitors arriving by air. This includes jobs in industries such as hotels, restaurants, visitor attractions, local transport and car rental, but excludes air transport industry jobs.

Indirect: A further 16.4 million jobs in industries supplying the tourism industry are supported by visitors arriving by air.Induced: These direct and indirect tourism jobs supported by air transport generate a further seven million jobs in other parts of the economy, through employees spending their earnings on goods and services.

Including direct, indirect, and induced effects, air transport supports over 44.8 million jobs within tourism, contributing around $1 trillion a year to world GDP.

Sustainable tourism

Tourism plays a major role in supporting sustainable economic growth. Responsible and sustainable tourism provides important service sector jobs, while preserving and appreciating the earth’s natural resources, rather than depleting them. However, there needs to be a focus by bothtourism operators and governments to ensure environmental and social impact is considered, as well as the economic benefits.

There are some great examples of economies taking a proactive strategic, holistic, and sustainable view of tourism development, such as New Zealand, Costa Rica, Iceland, and Bhutan. The World Travel & Tourism Council sets out some key principles for responsible sustainable development in ‘tourism for tomorrow’: Impacts natural and cultural environments in a positive way; Provides benefits to all sectors of society, including young people, women and indigenous peoples; Attracts and develops a skilled workforce to support growing demand; Stimulates consumer demand for sustainable products and uses latest technology to find innovative solutions to challenges such as overcrowding in popular tourist destinations.

Despite current headwinds, aviation has arguably experienced a golden age: a phase of relatively profitable growth, driven especially by commercial passengers in developing markets. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) forecasts that global passenger numbers will almost double by 2037, reaching 8.2 billion annually.

Aviation connectivity among nations has established a critical foundation for tourism markets and value chains, with well over half of the world’s 1.5 billion tourists pre-pandemic travelling by air, generating some 900 billion dollars in global GDP each year.

World trade is expected to remain strong in 2022, which will support air cargo volumes.Airlines, airport operators, airport on-site enterprises (restaurants and retail), aircraft manufacturers, and air navigation service providers employ 404,000 people in India. In addition, by buying goods and services from local suppliers the sector supported another 943,000 jobs. On top of this, the sector is estimated to support a further 553,000 jobs through the wages it pays its employees, some or all of which are subsequently spent on consumer goods and services.

Foreign tourists arriving by air to India, who spend their money in the local economy, are estimated to support an additional 4.3 million jobs. In total 6.2 million jobs are supported by air transport and tourists arriving by air.

The air transport industry, including airlines and its supply chain, are estimated to support $13 billion of GDP in India. Spending by foreign tourists supports a further $22 billion of the country’s GDP, totalling to $35 billion. In total, 1.5 percent of the country’s GDP is supported by inputs to the air transport sector and foreign tourists arriving by air.

Air transport market in India would result in an additional 370.3 million passenger journeys by 2037. If met, this increased demand would support approximately $126.7 billion of GDP and almost 9.1 million jobs.


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