Latest News

Back to Latest News back


WTTC new paper showcases tourism industry’s role in in enhancing social progress

WTTC new paper showcases tourism industry’s role in in enhancing social progress
February 12, 2021

The World Travel and Tourism Council has released a new paper highlighting the importance of the tourism industry in enhancing social progress and driving the global economy.

This paper is part of a major World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) initiative that will see further work in the future. The first iteration of the initiative is the Social Impact Paper, which shows how much of an important role Tourism plays, not only in driving economic growth, but also in enhancing social progress across the world through its diverse and inclusive nature, ability in enriching communities and as a creator of jobs and alleviating poverty, and catalyst for innovation and entrepreneurship.  

The paper says that raising awareness and understanding of the social impact of Tourism has always been tremendously important but is that much more critical in light of the devastating impact of COVID-19 on the industry globally. 

This research, undertaken in collaboration with the Social Progress Imperative (SPI), shows significant correlations between WTTC’s Economic Impact Report data and Social Progress Index scores over the last decade. Specifically, total contribution of Travel and Tourism to GDP and Employment positively and significantly affects Social Progress Index scores; with China, Cambodia, Rwanda and Sri Lanka highlighted as particularly strong performers.

This comes at a time where the Tourism sector has been ravished by the pandemic, and there is a pressing need to recover the hundreds of millions of jobs lost, with WTTC’s latest economic modelling suggesting that 174 million jobs were impacted in 2020 globally.

According to the research, in many parts of the world Tourism has enriched people at a faster rate than the overall economy.

Between 2011 and 2019, South East Asia recorded the fastest annual growth rate in Tourism GDP per capita at 6.7% compared to the region’s 3.7% overall economy growth; while the Middle East achieved a 3% Tourism GDP per capita growth compared to just 0.3% for the overall region’s economy.

International Tourism, and particularly, international spend, is vital to support the job creation from megacities to rural communities. According to the research, at the global level, for every 34 international visitors to a destination, one new job is created. This figure is more important in Africa, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East, where it respectively takes 11, 13 and 24 international visitors for the creation of one new job.

The paper also shows that for every $1 generated in direct Tourism GDP globally, more than $2 is generated indirectly. This means that more than twice as much value is generated across the entire supply chain thanks to Tourism.

For every direct job globally, nearly two new jobs are created on an indirect or induced basis, with one direct job in Tourism effectively creating a total of three jobs.

Additionally, diversity in the travel ecosystem, as it relates to race, ethnicity, gender, culture, religion, and physical ability, is fundamental to the success of businesses, the meaningful impact on communities, and the improved experience of travellers.

WTTC President and Chief Executive, Gloria Guevara notes “WTTC is proud to release this important research focusing on social impact, which highlights how critical Travel and Tourism is to our world.

“Travel and Tourism is one of the most diverse sectors, employing people from all socio-economic backgrounds regardless of age, gender or ethnicity, with almost 54% of whom are women and up to 30% youths.

“After nearly a full year of insecurity and hardship that has come from the COVID-19 pandemic, the time could not be more appropriate to celebrate the importance of the sector.”

According to WTTC’s 2020 Economic Impact Report, during 2019, the Tourism industry supported one in 10 jobs (330 million total), made a 10.3% contribution to global GDP, and generated one in four of all new jobs.

Related Articles

6th February 2021 - WTTC says governments should abandon notion of ‘high-risk countries’ and instead focus on ‘high-risk travellers’

20th January 2021 - WTTC predicts over 100 million global tourism jobs could be recovered during 2021

17th December 2020 - WTTC releases major new guidelines for Inclusion and Diversity to aid tourism sector

26th November 2020 - WTTC hosts inaugural virtual AGM highlighting importance of international collaboration for COVID recovery

14th October 2020 - WTTC recognises Australia’s COVID Clean Practicing Business Program

1st October 2020 - WTTC releases guidelines for safe return to work

28th September 2020 - WTTC launches new report on tourism’s future in the wake of COVID-19

21st September 2020 - ATEC aligns with WTTC Safe Travel protocols  

19th September 2020 - The Philippines revealed as 100th destination to receive WTTC Safe Travels stamp

4th September 2020 - WTTC launches Safe Travels protocols for adventure tourism

16th August 2020 - WTTC calls for leadership from Australian Government to save tourism

25th July 2020 - Dubai and Indonesia are latest recipients of WTTC Safe Travels stamp

9th June 2020 - Global tourist destinations sign up to the WTTC  global safety and hygiene stamp

28th May 2020 - WTTC launches world’s first global safety stamp

13th May 2020 - Group to oversee WTTC initiative to help revive tourism sector

1st May 2020 - WTTC outlines ‘the new normal’ when travelling resumes

23rd April 2020 - WTTC calls on G20 leaders to coordinate recovery for the tourism industry

17th April 2020 - WTTC commends global tourism industry for helping during COVID-19

20th September 2019 - WTTC and Deloitte unveil initiative to ensure tourism success during the digital revolution

10th April 2019 - WTTC launches tourism best practices toolkit to inform governments

8th April 2019 - WTTC recognises sustainable tourism excellence with 2019 Awards

Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.


supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all


Intelligenz provides Leisure Management Software for managing all your Program Registrations, Facility Bookings, Membership Sales and POS Transactions; including detailed Reporting, automated…

read more

Access / Billing / Finance / Marketing / Technology



A leading designer and manufacturer of innovative waterslides and attractions, Australian Waterslides and Leisure (AWL) is also able to advise clients in the areas of concept and design, feasibility…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Play / Waterparks



    SimplySwim is a school management solution that helps swimming school owners and managers optimize operations by automating functions such as managing class schedules, billing and…

read more

Aquatics / Education / Recreation / Safety / Technology



SPORTENG specialises in the Planning, Design and Construction inspection of Fields of Play for all sports. Blending engineering with the specialist knowledge gained from working closely with sport…

read more

Consultants / Recreation / Sport / Surfaces / Venues


State Wide Pool Services

Known as Hydrilla since September 2020 - see

read more



The Pool Enclosure Company

Now TPEC Pool Enclosures - see

read more

Aquatics / Design / Recreation / Venues


APT Asia Pacific Pty Ltd

APT (Advanced Polymer Technology) is the leading global manufacturer of polyurethane-based materials, acrylic coatings and synthetic turf products for sporting and recreational applications. From…

read more

Environment / Sport / Surfaces / Technology


get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business