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Five Charts That Explain the Size of the Global Travel Industry in 2015

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Travel builds businesses, helps in trade and capital investment, creates jobs and entrepreneurialism for the workforce, and helps protect heritage and cultural values, at least in theory. The WTTC data behind this shows how large the global travel industry really is.

— Rafat Ali

The World Travel & Tourism Council, the leading travel and tourism business organization in the world, is great at coming up with big picture numbers on the size of our industry and its growth across all regions.

One of its much anticipated reports is its annual “Economic Impact” report which shows the global size of the travel industry and its economic impact on countries in terms of the business and revenues it generates, the number of tourists moving about the globe, the number of jobs it supports, and the resulting GDP contributions in various countries in the world.

Its 2015 global report came out last month, and with tons of juicy data about our sector, it does not disappoint.

Five charts contained in it, extracted below, show the size of the global travel sector in 2015.

The first one shows what constitutes the global travel industry, otherwise a source of much confusion even among the industry players. This shows the direct, indirect, and induced contributions of travel and its various sub-sectors. And this is ever changing as new technologies reconfigure our and other sectors in the world.

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The following table contains the hard numbers behind the state of our industry as it stands this year. All topline indicators are on the up, as the world recovers from the economic crisis in fits and starts. The big number to keep in mind: travel and tourism constitutes 10 percent of the world’s GDP.

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This third chart is a more detailed breakdown of the 2014 numbers, with the GDP contribution of travel touching $8 trillion in 2015 and rising to almost $12 trillion a decade from now.

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As for the number of people employed by the global travel industry and what that means for the GDP, about 105 million people were employed directly in the travel industry in 2014, and if you add other indirect and induced sectors, it adds up to about 277 million jobs, about 10 percent of all employment in the world.

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This last chart is our favorite, an “infographic” about how the money travels in and out of all sectors of travels and flows into adjacent sectors beyond just travel. If any one chart shows how the tentacles of travel intersect with almost every other consumer sector in the world, this chart is it.

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Tags: economy, tourism, wttc

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