by Laurie Baratti
on April 27, 2023 Last updated: 6:15 PM ET, Thu April 27, 2023
In analyzing its new 2023 Economic Impact Research (EIR) data, the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) found that forecasts indicate the U.S. travel and tourism sector will achieve record-breaking highs as the year continues, outstripping even 2019’s pre-pandemic peaks.It’s anticipated that the sector will have contributed $2.24 trillion to the U.S. economy by the end of the year, exceeding the 2019 record high of $2.17 trillion. WTTC also reported that it predicts the industry will create over 1.2 million U.S. jobs to reach 17.4 million this year, an almost full recovery of the jobs that were destroyed due to COVID-19.
In 2022, the travel and tourism sector’s contribution to the U.S.’ overall gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 16.9 percent, putting it at over $2 trillion, constituting 7.9 percent of the nation’s economy. These figures showed the needle moving closer to the sector’s 2019 record-high GDP share of $2.17 trillion.Looking BackLast year, however, travel restrictions maintained by key source markets for inbound travelers to America, including China and Japan, continued to impede the U.S. travel and tourism sector’s recovery. Also, in 2022, the sector saw the creation of 2.7 million jobs in addition to the previous year, for a total of 16.17 million jobs across the country. That number equates to one in 10 American jobs.
At this point, the travel and tourism industry has now recovered 6.75 million of the 8 million employment positions that were lost as a result of the pandemic, which is more than 84 percent of them.Spending by overseas visitors to the U.S. also grew by 158 percent last year to reach nearly $116 billion, as international travelers returned to the U.S. in greater numbers. That being said, the continued travel restrictions imposed by key source market countries have held back the complete recovery of overseas visitor spending in the U.S. to its 2019 peak figures. Currently, those numbers still fall 43.4 percent short of 2019, which saw international visitors spend over $204 billion during their travels to America.Looking Ahead
The WTTC, the organization that has been representing the world’s travel and tourism sector’s interests for over 30 years, said it predicts that the U.S. sector will increase its GDP contribution to over $3 trillion over the coming decade, representing 10 percent of the overall U.S. economy. It also forecasts that the sector will employ almost 21 million people at that point, the equivalent of one in eight American jobs.In response to the news, Julia Simpson, WTTC president & CEO, said: “The Travel & Tourism sector in the U.S. is recovering strongly with strong visitor demand. This year we expect tourism to add more than $2.2 trillion to the U.S. economy, beating the all-time high of 2019.”The number of jobs created by Travel & Tourism stands at 16 million, but by the end of this year, it will reach almost 17.4 million jobs, only 1 percent behind 2019 numbers. In 2022, the value of the sector was worth $2.01 trillion compared to $2.17 trillion in 2019.
“International visitor spend is still lagging and, despite the recent surge, we are still lagging 25 percent behind 2019 levels…The U.S. remains the world’s biggest Travel & Tourism market, although predictions show China will take that crown in 2032.”
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Appeared first on: Travelpulse.com