London, UK - A major new report has revealed Travel & Tourism's crucial contribution to help re-energize the EU's economic recovery once the COVID-19 pandemic has been successfully combatted.
The publication by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), which represents the global Travel & Tourism private sector, of its annual Economic Impact Report (EIR), shows the vital part the sector played in driving the EU economy last year.
During 2019, Travel & Tourism was responsible for 22.6 million jobs, or 11.2% of the EU's total workforce. It also generated 1,319 billion Euro's GDP or 9.5% to the EU economy. Whilst the EU's overall economy grew by just 1.4%, the Travel & Tourism sector showed significant growth of 2.3% on the previous year.
The comprehensive report also showed the EU is the largest region in the world in terms of international spending at a staggering 427 billion Euros in 2019, representing 6.2% of the EU's total exports.
Leisure spending helped generate jobs throughout the EU with analysis from the report showing across the EU it accounted for an overwhelming 81% of all cash spent, compared to less than a fifth (19%) for business.
The largest EU economies in terms of total Travel & Tourism contribution to GDP were also revealed to be Germany (US$347 billion), Italy (US$260 billion), France (US$229 billion) and Spain (US$198 billion).
Gloria Guevara, WTTC President & CEO, said: "WTTC's 2019 Economic Impact Report (EIR) shows how intrinsic the Travel & Tourism sector was last year to the EU economy, responsible for more than 22 million jobs or 11.2% of the total number of people employed.
"Our analysis underscores how vital the Travel & Tourism sector will be in powering the recovery of the EU economy, generating new jobs and driving visitors back, having a positive economic domino effect on suppliers large and small throughout the industry on the continent."
"Until then it is crucial that all governments throughout the EU help to protect a sector which is the backbone of the European and global economy, which is currently in a fight for survival with up to 75 million jobs globally are at immediate risk, with 6.4 million at risk across the EU alone."
On a global level, the Travel & Tourism sector outperformed the 2.5% rate of global GDP growth for the ninth consecutive year in a row, thanks to an annual GDP growth rate of 3.5%. This made it the global economy's third-highest sector in terms of GDP growth.
The EIR shows the sector supporting 1 in 10 jobs (330 million), making a 10.3% contribution to global GDP and generating 1 in 4 of all new jobs.
A breakdown by WTTC shows the Asia Pacific to be the top-performing region worldwide with an impressive growth rate of 5.5%, followed very closely by the Middle East at 5.3%. The US demonstrated a steady growth rate of 3.4% and the EU 2.4%, while the fastest-growing country was Saudi Arabia.
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.