Africa tourism “bounceback” to generate 14m jobs in next decade
An Economic Impact Report by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) released this month (May 2022) has anticipated that tourism will generate 14 million new jobs opportunities within Africa.
The encouraging prediction for the WTTC’s annual report shows an average of 1.4 million new jobs within the continent. The report also suggests that the travel sector will lead the process of financial revival of the region, with its annual GDP outpacing the economy for the next 10 years in general.
The report forecasts GDP of travel sector is predicted to rise at an average rate of 6.8 per cent every year between 2022-2032. The figures are more than twice the 3.3 per cent growth rate and expected the value of the sector to reach almost $279 billion.
By the end of 2022, the contribution of travel to GDP is hoped to grow 20.5 per cent to $144 billion. This would amount to 5.1 per cent of the total economic GDP. Tourism employment opportunities are set to grow by 3.1 per cent in 2022 and reach 22 million jobs.
Africa “clearly bouncing back”
The global tourism body’s annual report shows additional confidence for the Travel GDP of the region which by 2023 is forecast to approach pre-pandemic levels. Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO, said: “Africa is clearly bouncing back and is set to experience a significant recovery over the couple of years and looking ahead over the next 10 years, the sector could create almost 14 million jobs.
“However, last year the recovery was significantly impacted by Omicron, which saw many countries reinstating severe and unjustified travel restrictions on several key African destinations.”
Before the pandemic, the travel and tourism sector’s contribution to the region’s GDP was 6.8 per cent (US$182.4 billion) in 2019, falling to just 3.8 per cent (US$96.5 billion) in 2020 when the pandemic was at its height, nearly halving 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.
2021 saw beginning of sector recovery in Africa
Looking back at 2021, WTTC’s latest Economic Impact Report reveals a year in which saw the green shoots of 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 US$119 billion.
Last year also saw a recovery of 1.6 million jobs within travel and tourism, representing a positive 8.2 per cent rise to reach more than 21 million.