African tourism sector to create 14 million jobs within a decade – The Star, Kenya

The latest Economic Impact Report (EIR) by the World Travel & Tourism Council(WTTC)  reveals that the African travel & tourism sector is expected to create almost 14 million new jobs over the next decade.
This is an average of 1.4 million new jobs every year.
“Africa is clearly bouncing back and is set to experience a significant recovery over a couple of years and looking ahead over the next 10 years, the sector could create almost 14 million jobs,” said Julia Simpson, WTTC president and CEO.
The report also reveals that the sector will lead the economic recovery in the region, with its annual GDP growth set to outpace the overall economy for the next 10 years.
According to the report, travel & tourism’s GDP is forecasted to grow at an average rate of 6.8 per cent annually between 2022-2032.
This is more than twice the 3.3 per cent growth rate of the region’s overall economy, to reach nearly $ 279 billion (Sh 32.414 trillion), a 7.2 per cent of the total economy.
The sector’s contribution to GDP is expected to grow 20.5 per cent to $ 144 billion (Sh16,729 trillion) by the end of 2022, amounting to 5.1 per cent of the total economic GDP.
Employment in the sector is set to grow by 3.1 per cent this year to reach nearly 22 million jobs.
The global tourism body’s annual report also shows further optimism for the region’s travel & tourism GDP, which could approach pre-pandemic levels by 2023 – just nine per cent below 2019 levels.
“Last year the recovery was significantly impacted by Omicron, which saw many countries reinstating severe and unjustified travel restrictions on several key African destinations,” said Simpson.
Before the pandemic, the sector’s contribution to the region’s GDP was 6.8 per cent ($182.4 billion) in 2019, falling to just 3.8 per cent ($96.5 billion) in 2020 when the pandemic was at its height.
This nearly halved the contribution of such a crucial sector to the economy with a 47.1 per cent decline.
The sector also supported more than 25 million jobs across the region, which after a 22.9 per cent drop, fell to just 19.6 million in 2020.
However, looking back at 2021, WTTC’s latest EIR report reveals a year in which we saw the beginning of the recovery for the region’s travel & tourism sector.
The sector’s contribution to GDP increased 23.5 per cent year on year, to reach more than $119 billion.
It also saw a recovery of 1.6 million travel and tourism jobs, representing a positive 8.2 per cent rise to reach more than 21 million.
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