Tourism continues to remain a significant part of the global economy as over one billion people visit countries of the world in 2014 generating jobs and supporting economies.
The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) World Tourism Barometer reports that international tourist arrivals reached 1,138 million in 2014 “a 4.7 percent increase over the previous year,” it says.
According to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, the number of international tourists (overnight visitors) is 51 million more than in 2013 and with the 4.7 percent increase, “this is the fifth consecutive year of above average growth since the 2009 economic crisis,” it adds.
According to the report, by region, the Americas (+7%) and Asia and the Pacific (+5%) registered the strongest growth, while Europe (+4%), the Middle East (+4%) and Africa (+2%) grew at a slightly more modest pace. By subregion, North America (+8%) saw the best results, followed by North-East Asia, South Asia, Southern and Mediterranean Europe, Northern Europe and the Caribbean, all increasing by 7%.
The report released on January 27, 2015 notes that the growth in international tourism receipts in 2014 is expected to have followed that of arrivals fairly close (the 2014 results for international tourism receipts will be released in April 2015). In 2013, international tourism receipts reached $1,197 billion, $230 billion more than in the pre-crisis year of 2008.
Another report by The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) says the direct contribution of travel and tourism to Ghana’s GDP in 2013 was GH¢2.6 billion, which is three percent of GDP.
“This is forecast to rise by 9.7 percent to GH¢2.9 billion in 2014,” it adds.
This reflects economic activity generated by hotels, restaurant and leisure services, travel agents, airlines and other passenger transportation services (excluding commuter services), it says.
According to the WTTC, travel and tourism generated 124,500 jobs directly in 2013 and this is forecast to grow by 7.4 percent in 2014 to 134,000.
This, it says, includes employment by hotels, travel agents, airlines and other passenger transportation services (excluding commuter services). It also includes, for example, the activities of the restaurant and leisure industries directly supported by tourists.
“By 2024, travel and tourism will account for 170,000 jobs directly, an increase of 2.4 percent a year over the next ten years,” the WTTC says.
By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi