Every year, WTTC forecasts the economic impact of the Travel & Tourism sector in 184 countries and 24 regions. For 2015, these forecasts show a sector that is again growing strongly, creating jobs and driving growth.

In 2014, the industry contributed US$7,580 billion in GDP and 277 million jobs to the global economy.

During 2015, the industry's contribution to global GDP is forecast to grow by 3.7% and employment by 2.6%. This demonstrates the sector's enduring ability to generate economic growth and create jobs at a faster rate than the global economy, which is due to grow by 2.9% in 2015.

By the end of 2015, the Travel & Tourism sector will contribute US$7,860 billion, 10% of global GDP, once all direct, indirect and induced impacts are taken into account. The sector will account for 284 million jobs, 9.5% of total employment, or one in eleven of all jobs on the planet,

WTTC forecasts that the United States and China will retain their rankings as the two biggest Travel & Tourism economies in the world, but Germany has overtaken Japan to rank as the third largest Travel & Tourism economy. Russia is the only G20 country expected to register a decline in Travel & Tourism growth in 2015, due to the continuing sanctions being imposed and the devaluation of the rouble. South Asia is expected to experience the highest growth in 2015 at 6.9%, whilst Europe and Latin America are the regions with the lowest forecast growth of 2.4%.

David Scowsill, President & CEO WTTC, said: "At a time of global economic challenges, Travel & Tourism continues to grow faster than the global economy, and is an enduring source of job creation and a driver of growth for every region in the world."

"Our annual research demonstrates that the sector has recorded strong economic growth in 19 out of the last 20 years, providing much-needed economic stability at a time of global economic volatility.

"Governments looking for a sector which can create jobs and drive economic growth should focus on Travel & Tourism. This industry requires the right regulatory environment in which to flourish, along with progressive policies on visa access, taxation, human resources planning, and sustainability."

Long-term forecasts for Travel & Tourism show continued annual growth at 3.8% over the next ten years to $11.4 trillion. By 2025, the global Travel & Tourism sector is expected to contribute 357 million jobs, some 73 million more jobs than this year.

Scowsill concluded: "The long-term prospects for our sector are very encouraging. Travel & Tourism will continue to grow faster than the global economy and most other major industries."

The Global Travel & Tourism Economic Impact Annual Update 2015 is produced for the World Travel & Tourism Council by Oxford Economics. The global economic contribution of Travel & Tourism, as defined by the World Travel & Tourism (WTTC) and Oxford Economics, is consistent with the United Nations Statistics Division-approved Tourism Satellite Account: Recommended Methodological Framework (TSA: RMF 2008), in terms of what is measured.

This year's World Travel & Tourism Council Global Summit will be held in Madrid, Spain 15-16 April 2015. Once again the annual WTTC Global Summit will unite Travel & Tourism leaders from across the whole world, bringing together top representatives from the public and private sectors, from travel associations and the media in a unique networking and discussion forum. Be part of these debates, and join the WTTC 15th annual Global Summit in person, or online at www.wttc.org

About WTTC

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) represents the global travel & tourism private sector. Members include 200 CEOs, Chairs and Presidents of the world's leading travel & tourism companies from all geographies covering all industries. For more than 30 years, WTTC has been committed to raising the awareness of governments and the public of the economic and social significance of the travel & tourism sector.