WTTC calls for supportive policy framework to ensure the long term sustainability of US travel & Tourism
According to WTTC's latest research, conducted in collaboration with Oxford Economics, and which is due to be launched on 12 March at ITB Berlin, the Travel & Tourism Economy's contribution to GDP in the United States is currently expected to decline by 4.2% in 2009 to US$1,357 billion. Travel & Tourism Economy employment - the number of jobs directly in the industry and in related sectors of the economy - is forecast to fall by 4.4% to 13.8 million, a loss of more than 1 million across the country.
"But this in no way undermines Travel & Tourism's economic importance to the US," Baumgarten stressed. "Despite the decline due to the present economic crisis, its contribution to total GDP will still be around 9.5% in 2009 - above the global average - and it should account for an estimated 9.7% of national employment, as against a 7.6% share worldwide.
"The US remains the world's leading Travel & Tourism economy by a very wide margin, generating nearly three times higher GDP than its closest competitors, Japan and China, and its dominant position will not be challenged over the next ten years," Baumgarten added.
According to WTTC's research, the country's Travel & Tourism Economy GDP is predicted to grow by 3.5% per annum between 2009 and 2019, to US$2,358 billion, or 9.8% of total GDP, with Travel & Tourism Economy employment growth forecast at.1.2% over the same period to 15.6 million - 10.1% of total employment in the US.
"These figures highlight just how far-reaching the impact of Travel & Tourism is across the wider US economy," Baumgarten noted. "Moreover, past experience has shown that Travel & Tourism is extremely resilient and should be recognized by governments as a means of stimulating growth and kick-starting the economy once the crisis eases.
"Nevertheless, the industry needs a supportive framework from government to help weather the storm," Baumgarten said. "Unlike other sectors of the economy, Travel & Tourism is not asking for a bailout from government, nor even handouts. But it is more critical than ever for the public and private sectors to work together in partnership to address the challenges and try to find solutions.
"It is not the time to discourage travel in any way, whether for leisure or business," Baumgarten added, "and by this I also mean meetings, conferences, exhibitions and incentive trips. Travel & Tourism is at the heart of the economy and, in difficult times, companies are more than ever obliged to meet their customers, products have to be shown to potential buyers, and employees have to be motivated and rewarded for their efforts.
"We all have to pull in the same direction," Baumgarten said.
For further information please contact: Regine Doloy, WTTC Communications Director, on tel: +44 (0) 20 7481 8007, or email her at email@example.com
For more details about the 2009 Global Travel & Tourism Summit, to be held in Florianópolis, the capital of the state of Santa Catarina, Brazil, please visit
About WTTC | WTTC is the forum for business leaders in the Travel & Tourism industry. With Chairs and Chief Executives of the world's 100 foremost leading Travel & Tourism companies as its Members, it has a unique mandate and overview on all matters related to Travel & Tourism.
WTTC works to raise awareness of Travel & Tourism as one of the world's largest industries, employing around 225 million people around the world and generating some 9.6% of global GDP in 2008.
Phone: + 44 20 7481 8007 .