(MENAFN- Bangladesh Monitor) London : New research from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) reveals the recovery of the Asia Pacific Travel and Tourism sector has soared ahead of many regions in the world with a year on year growth of more than 36 per cent.
Before the pandemic struck, Asia Pacific's Travel and Tourism sector's contribution to GDP represented more than USD 3 trillion (9.9 per cent of the region's economy). After the pandemic brought international travel to an almost complete standstill, in 2020, Asia Pacific saw a hit of almost 54 per cent, halving the contribution of the Travel and Tourism sector to the region's economy.
However, according to the research, and based on the current rate of recovery, the sector's contribution to the region's GDP could see a year on year increase of 36.3 per cent this year, ahead of the global average of 30.7 per cent, which represents an increase of USD 515 billion.
The data also reveals Travel and Tourism's contribution to the Asia Pacific economy could see a similar year on year rise of 35.8 per cent in 2022, representing an increase of USD 692 billion.
Domestic spend is expected to grow by 49 per cent by the end of this year and experience a year on year rise of more than a quarter (25.5 per cent) in 2022.
WTTC's research goes on to show that while international spend is predicted to drop by nearly 25 per cent on 2020 figures, one of the worst years on record for the Travel and Tourism sector, 2022 is looking more positive.
Next year, international spend growth is set to rise by USD 156 billion (148 per cent) providing a massive boost to the region's economy.
In terms of employment, in 2019, the Asia Pacific Travel and Tourism sector supported more than 185 million jobs.
After a loss of over 34 million jobs last year, when travel restrictions brought international mobility to an almost complete standstill, devastating livelihoods across the region and around the world, employment growth is set to rise by a marginal 0.4 per cent in 2021.
However, employment growth could experience a 19.8 per cent year on year increase, reaching more than 181 million jobs in 2022.
According to the research, the sector's contribution to the region's GDP and the rise in jobs could be more positive this year and next, if five vital measures are met by governments around the world.
These measures include allowing fully vaccinated travellers to move freely, irrespective of their origin or eventual destination. Secondly, the implementation of digital solutions which enable all travellers to easily prove their Covid status, in turn speeding up the process at borders around the world. Thirdly, for safe international travel to fully restart, governments must recognise for all vaccines authorised by WHO. Fourthly, continued support of the COVAX/UNICEF initiative to ensure equitable distribution of vaccines around the world. Finally, the continued implementation of enhanced health and safety protocols, which will underpin customer confidence.
Bright future for APAC
If these five vital measures are followed before the end of 2021, research shows the impact on the economy and jobs across Asia Pacific could be considerable.
The Travel and Tourism's contribution to GDP would benefit from these measures and could rise by 46.7 per cent (USD 661 billion) by the end of this year, and a further year on year rise of 37.8 per cent (USD 785 billion) in 2022.
According to the research, domestic spend could increase by 59 per cent this year, followed by a 26.2 per cent growth in 2022.
Although international spend could continue to plunge by 12.6 per cent in 2021, it could experience a massive boost of 153 per cent next year, representing a rise of USD 188 billion.
Employment could see an 8 per cent rise this year, and a year on year increase of 21.6 per cent in 2022, recovering more than 47 million jobs by next year. This would exceed pre-pandemic levels and provide the region with an additional 13 million jobs
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