Asia Pacific travel and tourism sector to recover by almost 40%
The data comes from a new investigation by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC)
A new report from the WTTC reveals that the recovery of the Asia Pacific travel and tourism sector has exploded ahead of many regions of the world with year-on-year growth of more than 36%.
Before the pandemic broke out, the Asia Pacific travel and tourism sector's contribution to GDP was more than US $ 3 trillion (9.9% of the region's economy).
After the pandemic almost completely paralyzed international travel, in 2020, Asia Pacific experienced an impact of almost 54%, halving the contribution of the travel and tourism sector to the region's economy.
However, according to the research, and based on the current rate of recovery, the sector's contribution to the region's GDP could experience a year-on-year increase of 36.3% this year, above the world average of 30.7%, which represents an increase of US $ 515 billion.
The data also reveals that Travel & Tourism's contribution to the Asia Pacific economy could see a similar annual increase of 35.8% in 2022, representing an increase of $ 692 billion.
National spending is expected to grow 49% by the end of this year and experience a year-on-year increase of more than a quarter (25.5%) in 2022.
WTTC research continues to show that while international spending is forecast to fall nearly 25% from 2020 figures, one of the worst years on record for the travel and tourism sector, 2022 looks more positive.
Next year, international spending growth will rise by $ 156 billion (148%), providing a massive boost to the region's economy.
In terms of employment, in 2019, the Asia Pacific travel and tourism sector generated more than 185 million jobs.
After the loss of more than 34 million jobs last year, when travel restrictions almost completely crippled international mobility and devastated livelihoods across the region and around the world, growth is projected to of employment increases a marginal 0.4% in 2021.
However, job growth could experience a year-on-year increase of 19.8%, reaching more than 181 million jobs in 2022.
Julia Simpson, President and CEO of WTTC, said: “Our research clearly shows that while the global travel and tourism sector is beginning to recover, Asia Pacific is doing so at a much faster rate.
“Many countries in the APAC region, such as the Philippines, host of our prestigious annual Global Summit next March, are not only intensifying their entire vaccination program, but are also focusing on accelerating the implementation of vaccination in key tourist destinations for restart its travel and tourism sectors.
"With high vaccination rates in the region and an expected increase in national and international spending next year, the outlook for both employment and GDP looks much more positive for next year."
According to the research, the sector's contribution to the region's GDP and job growth could be more positive this year and next, if governments around the world comply with five vital measures.
These measures include allowing fully vaccinated travelers to move freely, regardless of origin or final destination.
Second, the implementation of digital solutions that allow all travelers to easily demonstrate their COVID status, in turn accelerating the process at borders around the world.
Third, for safe international travel to be fully restarted, governments must recognize all vaccines authorized by the WHO.
Fourth, continued support for the COVAX / UNICEF initiative to ensure equitable distribution of vaccines around the world.
Finally, the continuous implementation of improved health and safety protocols, which will reinforce customer confidence.
The future could be brighter for Asia Pacific
If these five vital measures are followed before the end of 2021, research shows that the impact on the economy and employment in Asia Pacific could be considerable.
The contribution of Travel and Tourism to GDP would benefit from these measures and could increase by 46.7% (US $ 661 billion) by the end of this year, and an additional year-on-year increase of 37.8% (US $ 785 thousand million) in 2022.
According to the research, national spending could increase by 59% this year, followed by growth of 26.2% in 2022.
Although international spending could continue to fall 12.6% in 2021, it could see a massive 153% increase next year, representing an increase of $ 188 billion.
Employment could see an increase of 8% this year and a year-on-year increase of 21.6% in 2022, recovering more than 47 million jobs by next year. This would exceed pre-pandemic levels and provide the region with an additional 13 million jobs.