The World Travel & Tourism Council has released a new report detailing the critical role the industry will have in the economic recovery in the Americas once the Covid-19 pandemic has passed.
In its annual Economic Impact Report, the trade body argued tourism accounted for 8.8 per cent of the total economy in the Americas last year.
Tourism was also responsible for approximately 45 million jobs, or 9.8 per cent of their total workforce, the report stated.
International visitor spend totalled $324 billion in the region, representing 7.3 per cent of all exports.
Gloria Guevara, WTTC chief executive, said: “Our Economic Impact Report shows how the economic recovery in the Americas depends greatly on tourism.
“In 2019, tourism was a total of 8.8 per cent of the entire economy.
“Once this pandemic is at an end, producing new jobs and bringing business and leisure travellers back will encourage suppliers of all sizes to restore their efforts to meet the demand.”
According to the report, the Americas had a higher percentage of leisure travel, with 74 per cent, compared to 26 per cent for business travel.
In terms of spending, the region also relies heavily on domestic funds.
This money will be critical to the recovery, the WTTC argues, with 81 per cent of tourism cash attributed to domestic spending versus 19 per cent from international spending.
For two consecutive years, tourism GDP growth outpaced the overall economy in the region, growing at 2.2 per cent in 2019, while the economy as a whole grew by 1.9 per cent.
“Over the coming months, it will be crucial to call upon governments all over the world to ensure the survival of tourism – which currently has, up to 75 million jobs at immediate risk globally, with up to 5.9 million at risk in the USA alone,” concluded Guevara.
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