Travel & Tourism Set to Break All Records in 2024, Reveals WTTC

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has predicted a record-breaking year for travel and tourism in 2024, with the sector’s global economic contribution set to reach an all-time high of $11.1 trillion. According to the global tourism body’s 2024 Economic Impact Research (EIR), travel and tourism will contribute an additional $770 billion over its previous record, generating one in every 10 dollars worldwide.

As the global sector soars past its pre-pandemic levels, WTTC expects 142 countries of 185 analyzed will outperform previous national records. In partnership with Oxford Economic, WTTC’s latest EIR showcases a sector "brimming with opportunities," underpinning almost 348 million jobs globally. This represents an increase of more than 13.6 million jobs compared to its highest point in 2019.

International visitor spending is expected to come within touching distance of the 2019 peak, to reach $1.89 trillion, while domestic tourists are forecast to spend more than in any year on record to hit $5.4 trillion.

Last year, despite economic uncertainties and geopolitical shake-ups, the travel and tourism sector thrived. With an economic injection of nearly $10 trillion, the sector matched its pre-pandemic highs, proving its critical role in the global economy. Representing 9.1 percent of global GDP at just over $9.9 trillion in 2023, travel and tourism’s financial footprint was the largest it’s been since the golden year of travel in 2019, trailing its peak by 4 percent. The sector also bolstered its workforce by an additional 27.4 million, propelling the total to nearly 330 million jobs worldwide.

International spending increased by 33.1 percent to reach $1.63 trillion, underscoring a comeback story for many countries around the world, with domestic spending increasing by more than 18 percent to reach almost $5 trillion. Last year set the stage, demonstrating the passion for travel, says WTTC, paving the way for a record-breaking year in 2024.

This growth comes despite two of the world’s biggest tourism markets lagging in terms of international visitor spend, with both the U.S. and China seeing a far slower return of international tourist spend.

Looking ahead, WTTC is forecasting a promising future for the next decade. By 2034, the sector will "supercharge" the global economy with a staggering $16 trillion, making up 11.4 percent of the entire economic landscape. This booming industry is also set to be a job creation juggernaut, employing 449 million people worldwide. Nearly 12.2 percent of the workforce will be powering this sector, showcasing travel and tourism’s pivotal role in global employment.

With more than three-quarters of the countries analyzed expected to exceed the high point of 2019, in terms of GDP contribution, travel and tourism is on the brink of its most transformative era yet.

Source: WTTC

Related Stories

1 in 5 Gen Z to Spend Nearly Half of Disposable Income on Travel

TTC Tour Brands Reaffirms “Always” Commitment to Travel Advisors

Travel Leaders Rolls Out New SNAP Booking Tool for Advisors

How Social Media Still Plays a Big Role in Travel