Brussels, Belgium, July 7, 2023 / TRAVELINDEX / The World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) 2023 Economic Impact Research (EIR) today reveals the EU Travel & Tourism sector is forecast to reach 98% of the 2019 peak. The sector is set to contribute €1.44BN to the EU economy in 2023 and 2MN more Travel and Tourism jobs across the EU last year.
The sector is set to contribute €1.44BN to the economy this year, edging close to the 2019 pre-pandemic high of €1.47BN.
WTTC is also forecasting that the sector will create more than 687K jobs this year, recovering almost 90% of the jobs lost due to the COVID 19 pandemic to reach more than 22.4MN, with one in nine workers across the EU, in the Travel & Tourism sector.
A look back on last year
Last year, the Travel & Tourism sector’s GDP contribution grew by 40.5% to reach more than €1.37BN, representing 8.7% of the Bloc’s economy, edging closer to the 2019 high of 9.6% of the economy.
Last year the sector also created 2MN more jobs from the previous year to reach 21.8MN jobs – one in ten across the EU.
According to the global tourism body’s annual research, the sector has now recovered 3.1MN of the 3.6MN jobs lost during the pandemic.
Last year also saw the return of international travellers heading to the EU with spending from overseas visitors growing 81% year on year, to reach almost €385BN.
Domestic visitor spend fully recovered in 2022, exceeding the pre-pandemic high of €809BN, to reach €814BN.
Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO, said: “The Travel & Tourism sector in the EU is recovering strongly with high visitor demand. The number of jobs created by Travel & Tourism stands at 21.8MN, but by the end of this year it will reach nearly 22.5MN jobs, just 2% behind 2019 numbers.
“Travel & Tourism is a key economic growth sector and driver of jobs in the EU due to the importance of the sector in so many countries such as Germany, Italy, Spain, and France. Our most recent Cities Economic Impact Report revealed that Paris remains the world’s most popular tourist destination.”
What does the next decade look like?
The global tourism body is forecasting that the sector will grow its GDP contribution to almost €1.9BN by 2033, more than 10% of the EU economy and will employ over 26.3MN people across the region, with one in eight EU residents working in the sector.