Travel & Tourism in 2026: 16 fascinating stats demonstrating the power of tourism’s growth

  Posted in Online Travel Agents

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It’s a report that analyses 184 countries and 25 economic regions in the world. And the 2016 Annual Update from the World Travel and Tourism Council reveals some fascinating statistics that not only demonstrate the power and influence of travel and tourism, but also its impressive forecasted growth.

The figures are as important as they are interesting because they are a vital tool providing evidence of the huge contribution travel and tourism brings to economies worldwide, and in turn helps support policy-making decisions.

Our sector supports 284 million jobs – that’s one in 11 of all jobs in the world. Forecasts over the next 10 years are described by the WTTC as “extremely favourable” with growth projected to be 4% every year.

How did travel and tourism perform in 2015?

  • Travel and tourism grew by 3.1% in 2015 – the 6th consecutive year of positive growth – and is forecast to grow 3.3% in 2016
  • 2.5 million new jobs were generated directly in the sector in 2015, taking the number of direct jobs to 108 million worldwide
  • Travel and tourism globally outperformed manufacturing and retail in 2015
  • Tourism in Iceland, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, and Uganda markedly outperformed their wider economies in 2015
  • Macau saw its inbound international tourism spending drop by a third in 2015
  • Domestic tourism spend outpaced international spend last year by 0.5% – breaking a 10-year trend, which looks set to continue until 2018
  • Hotel performance globally was strong in 2015 with occupancy rates, average daily rates and revenue per available room up in all world regions – except Asia Pacific and the Middle East
  • All world sub-regions experienced growth in total travel and tourism GDP in 2015, with Southeast Asia experiencing the strongest uplift at 7.9%
  • Europe has noticeably benefited from strong numbers of Chinese visitors, with major destinations like the UK and Germany profiting from strong Chinese outbound trends
  • Australia and New Zealand are continuing to see strong growth from Chinese tourists as well

What will travel and tourism look like in 2026?

  • By 2026, travel and tourism is expected to support 370 million jobs in total globally, which will equate to 1 in 9 of all jobs in the world
  • South Asia, by some distance, will be the fastest growing sub-region for total travel and tourism GDP long-run growth to 2026 (7.1%) as India (7.5%) outpaces China (7.0%)
  • The fastest growing G20 countries for total travel and tourism GDP to 2026 will be China, India, Indonesia, Mexico and South Africa
  • China is still expected to overtake the USA in terms of travel and tourism investment by the end of the forecast period – but remain behind the USA in terms of Travel & Tourism total GDP, direct GDP, domestic spending and visitor exports
  • India’s strong forecast growth will propel it into the top ten Travel & Tourism economies by 2026 – moving from 12th in 2015
  • By 2026, Thailand will move up to second place in the global league table in terms of visitor exports, surpassing China and Spain
  • China, the USA, Germany and the UK will remain the top four markets by 2026 for outbound spending – however, India, Indonesia, and Singapore will make noticeable moves up the global league table for outbound spending

So what does this mean for hotels?

For a start, the next 10 years are going to be especially exciting times for hotels looking to attract, reach, and convert global guests. Those involved in hospitality in both emerging and advanced economies alike can expect to be busy, as the global demand for domestic and international travel shows no sign of abating.

There’s never been a better time to cast your net wide and ensure your hotel is being seen by prospective guests.

One example is connecting to OTAs within emerging economies such as Ctrip in China, Despegar in Brazil, and MakeMyTrip in India, to give your hotel broader exposure to guests who might not have considered booking with you before.

Travellers are more empowered and inspired than ever. Recent research from Deloitte shows that nine out of 10 holidaymakers conducted internet research prior to booking their last trip. The question is, will the travellers of 2026 be able to find you?

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