In a report that again depicts the resilience of travel, the World Travel and Tourism Council estimated that the industry's contribution to global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 3% last year, the third consecutive year of growth.
The annual report, produced by Oxford Economics, said the direct contribution of travel and tourism in the global economy came to over $2 trillion, or 2.9% of global GDP. With indirect effects added, the total economic impact of travel and tourism rises to $6.6 trillion, or 9.3% of global GDP.
The report notes that the industry's total contribution to global GDP is three times greater than its direct contribution.
In terms of employment, travel and tourism directly account for over 101 million jobs or 3.4% of total global employment. When indirect effects are added, the total contribution to global employment rises to 261 million, or 8.8% of the global total.
Visitor exports -- or direct spending by international visitors -- also increased last year to $1.2 trillion, accounting for 5.4% of global exports.
Oxford Economics is forecasting continued growth over the next decade. Global economic activity in travel and tourism is expected to rise 3.1% this year to $2.1 trillion and international visitor spending is also forecast to take a 3.1% jump.
Global travel industry employment is expected to rise 1.2% this year to nearly 102.4 million jobs worldwide.