Air transport provides vital connections for the booming global tourism industry. It is estimated that more than half (58%) of all international tourists travel by air, so the aviation and tourism industries depend on each other for sustainable growth.
Tourism makes a major contribution to the global economy. It supports 319 million jobs and contributes $8.8 trillion to global GDP (10.4% of the global economy). By 2029, the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) expects tourism to provide 421 million jobs worldwide.
Tourism is essential to economic development strategies in many developing countries, especially in regions far from their home tourism markets that depend on a constant influx of tourists. Without the influx of tourists, their economies would decline dramatically.
In Africa, an estimated 7.7 million people are employed due to the continued influx of foreign visitors, most of whom arrive by air. In 2018, these workers contributed $44 billion to the GDP of African economies. In some Caribbean countries, tourism is one of the few means of economic growth.
Aviation’s contribution to tourism employment and GDP is significant – Direct: An estimated 19.6 million tourism jobs worldwide are supported by spending by overseas visitors arriving via plane. This includes jobs in industries such as hotels, restaurants, tourist attractions, local transportation and car rental, but excludes jobs in the airline industry.
Indirect: An additional 16.4 million jobs in industries supplying the tourism industry are supported by visitors arriving by air. income from goods and services.
Including direct, indirect and induced effects, air transport supports more than 44.8 million jobs in tourism, contributing approximately $1 trillion annually to global GDP.
Tourism plays a major role in supporting sustainable economic growth. Responsible and sustainable tourism provides important jobs in the service sector, while preserving and enhancing the earth’s natural resources, rather than depleting them. However, tourism operators and governments need to focus on considering the environmental and social impact, as well as the economic benefits.
There are excellent examples of economies taking a proactive, holistic and sustainable strategic view of tourism development, such as New Zealand, Costa Rica, Iceland and Bhutan. The World Travel and Tourism Council sets out some key principles for responsible sustainable development in the “tourism of tomorrow”: Positive impact on natural and cultural environments; Provides benefits to all sectors of society, including youth, women and indigenous peoples; Attracts and develops a skilled workforce to meet growing demand; Stimulates consumer demand for sustainable products and uses the latest technologies to find innovative solutions to challenges such as overcrowding in popular tourist destinations.
Despite the current headwinds, aviation has arguably had a golden age: a phase of relatively profitable growth, driven in particular by commercial passengers in developing markets. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) predicts that the number of passengers worldwide will almost double by 2037, reaching 8.2 billion per year.
Air connectivity between nations has established a critical foundation for tourism markets and value chains, with well over half of the world’s 1.5 billion tourists before the pandemic traveling by air, generating some $900 billion in dollars of global GDP each year.
Global trade is expected to remain strong in 2022, which will support air cargo volumes. Additionally, by purchasing goods and services from local suppliers, the sector supported an additional 943,000 jobs. On top of that, the sector is estimated to support an additional 553,000 jobs through the wages it pays its employees, some or all of which is then spent on consumer goods and services.
Foreign tourists arriving by air in India, who spend their money in the local economy, are estimated to support an additional 4.3 million jobs. A total of 6.2 million jobs are supported by air transport and tourists arriving by air.
The airline industry, including airlines and its supply chain, is estimated to account for $13 billion in GDP in India. Spending by foreign tourists accounts for an additional $22 billion of the country’s GDP, totaling $35 billion. A total of 1.5% of the country’s GDP is supported by inputs from the air transport sector and foreign tourists arriving by air.
India’s air travel market would drive an additional 370.3 million passenger trips by 2037. If met, this increased demand would support around $126.7 billion in GDP and nearly 9.1 million jobs. .