New research has revealed the vital contribution travel and tourism will make to the Asia Pacific’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The study, conducted by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), shows how the industry played a major role in driving the economy across the region last year.
According to WTTC’s annual Economic Impact Report, the Asia Pacific was the fastest-growing region for travel and tourism in 2019, up 5.5 per cent on the previous year with roughly US$3 trillion ($4.6 trillion) generated towards GDP during the 12-month period.
International visitor spend across APAC totalled US$548 billion ($853 billion), representing 6.6 per cent of the region’s total exports.
The research also found that over the last five years, the APAC region was a world leader in job creation, with travel and tourism creating more than 21 million new roles, equating to 56 per cent of all new jobs globally.
Leisure travel made up the majority of travel and tourism spend in the APAC region (81 per cent), with the remaining 19 per cent being attributed to business travel.
When considering domestic and international spend, the numbers skewed similarly, with domestic visitor spend making up 74 per cent of the total, and international making up 26 per cent.
Gloria Guevara, chief executive and president of the WTTC, said: “Our report underscores how vital travel and tourism will be in powering the recovery of the region’s economy, generating new jobs and driving visitors back to Asia-Pacific; having a positive economic domino effect on suppliers large and small throughout the industry.
“Until then, it is crucial that all governments throughout the region help to protect travel and tourism as the backbone of the regional and global economy, which is currently in a fight for survival.
“Our research shows that up to 75 million jobs globally are at immediate risk, with more than 48 million at risk across the Asia Pacific region alone, highlighting how critically the sector requires support.”
Featured image credit: iStock/RomoloTavani