According to the World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) Annual Economic Trends Report, the United States is the world’s largest and most powerful Travel & Tourism market. Despite extensive and damaging travel restrictions that did little to stop the spread of COVID-19 and merely resulted in significant economic losses, its top position was confirmed.
Despite maintaining its number one position, the United States’ contribution to the national economy declined by US$700 billion in 2019, to just under US$1.3 trillion last year. According to Oxford Economics research for WTTC, there has been no change in the top three nations, with China second and Germany third. However, the rankings are deceptive because the top economies boosted their populations through domestic tourism while overseas visitor numbers fell.
International traveler spending rankings in the United States fell from their pre-pandemic high. Despite the problems of the last two years, a new study from the global tourism organization reveals that corporate travel is on the mend.
Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO, said: “Our report shows the resilience of the Travel & Tourism sector, despite the impact of travel restrictions around the world which failed to halt the spread of the virus.”
“Despite a challenging macro environment, Travel & Tourism has bounced back. The world, with some exceptions, is traveling again. And we are seeing a resurgence in business travel. Over the next 10 years, Travel & Tourism growth will outstrip the global economy.”
According to WTTC data, China remained the world’s second-largest Travel & Tourism sector, providing more than US$814 billion to GDP, while Germany remained the world’s third largest Travel & Tourism sector, contributing US$251 billion to the German economy. The United Kingdom dropped from the fifth rank in 2019 to ninth place in 2021, contributing slightly over US$157 billion, the most of any of the top ten countries.
As per WTTC, China may replace the United States as the world’s largest travel and tourism market by 2032. Based on the research, China’s Travel & Tourism business might contribute US$3.9 trillion to GDP by 2032, making it the world’s most powerful Travel & Tourism market, while India could overtake Germany to third place with a predicted value of US$457 billion.
According to WTTC forecasts, global business travel will increase by more than 41% this year. Business travel is expected to expand at a 5.5% annual rate over the next ten years, with Asia-Pacific seeing a stronger recovery.