Stats: Travel Industry Second-Fastest Growing Sector in the World

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The worldwide travel and tourism sector is still going strong, outpacing the growth of global GDP in 2018 for the eighth year in a row, according to new research from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC). According to the WTTC, last year travel and tourism grew 3.9 percent, above global GDP growth of 3.2 percent and contributing a record $8.8 trillion and 319 million jobs to the world economy. 

The report also found that the travel and tourism industry generated 10.4 percent of all global economic activity last year. Over the last five years, it has been responsible for one in five of all new jobs created worldwide. It is also the second-fastest growing sector in the world, ahead of healthcare (+3.1%), information technology (+1.7%) and financial services (+1.7%), and behind only manufacturing, which was up by 4 percent. 

Also in the last year, travel and tourism increased its share of leisure spending to 78.5 percent, up from 77.5 percent in 2017. That means that 21.5 percent of spending in 2018 was on business, down from 22.5 percent the previous year. Spending from international tourists also increased to 28.8 percent in 2018, up from 27.3 percent in 2017. That means that 71.2 percent of spending comes from domestic tourists. 

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Looking ahead, in a written statement WTTC President and CEO Gloria Guevara noted that the travel and tourism industry is forecast to contribute more than 100 million new jobs globally over the next 10 years, accounting for 421 million jobs by 2029. 

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