Lonely Planet Writer

Growth in tourism responsible for seven million new jobs worldwide in the last year

Tourists love to go around the world but they also make the world (of business) go round by travelling.

tourism
Travellers contributed US $7 trillion to the world’s gross domestic product last year Image by Scott / CC BY 2.0

Whether it was the strong US dollar or the rise in middle-class Chinese wanting to globe trot, a whopping 7.2 million new jobs were created in the travel trade in 2015 – adding over $7 trillion to the world’s gross domestic product (GDP).

The huge growth in tourism and travel were revealed in the London-based World Travel and Tourism Council’s annual report. It showed a 3.1% growth in the sector’s spending and said there are now 284 million jobs across those two industries.

A major reason for the spike in travel spending is explained by the China factor which has seen an increase of 53% in outbound travel spending last year, this helped to boost the total spend to $215 billion, according to the Council.

The Los Angeles Times also pointed to the strong US dollar as boosting travel by its citizens to such places as Mexico, Canada and the Caribbean. US holiday-makers going on international vacations rose by 6.3% last year.

David Scowsill, the tourism council’s CEO and President said tourism and travel had performed to a high level in most of the Americas’ economies. He believed there was now a great opportunity for other countries to benefit if they tapped into the rising number of US citizens travelling abroad. This had been fuelled by the strength of their currency, he added.