China poised to make huge strides in tourism, says WTTC

The World Travel and Tourism Council, in its annual report and forecast on the global economic impact of travel and tourism, projects that global spending this year will rise 4.6% to approach $6.5 trillion.

The report also states that global spending last year rose 5.7%, a rate that exceeded the WTTCs forecast, and topped $6.2 trillion.

Following the creation of more than 2 million jobs worldwide in 2005, the industry is projected to generate 2.5 million new jobs in 2006, for a total direct employment of 76.7 million jobs, or 2.8% of total world employment.

Factoring in the direct and indirect industry impact of travel and tourism, the WTTC said travel and tourism could create nearly 10 million new jobs globally, for a total of 234.3 million jobs or 8.7% of worldwide employment.

As always, however, the growth is uneven. According to the WTTC, the tourism economies of some small and/or developing countries are experiencing extraordinary growth rates. According to WTTC data, a clear leader in that regard is China.

The growth of personal spending on travel and tourism by Chinese consumers is expected to outpace every other nation for the next decade, with the result that China will overtake France, Germany and the U.K. and rank third in the world in personal travel spending behind the U.S. and Japan by 2016.

China is already second in the world behind the U.S. in terms of its annual capital investment in travel and tourism, and it will overtake the U.S. by 2016, according to the WTTC.

The U.S., however, is expected to retain a wide lead in terms of spending by international visitors, though China is expected to be in second place in the world by 2016.


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