The Importance of Travel and Tourism

In countries around the world, the importance of travel and tourism for national economies is evident from the contributions the sector makes. Taken as a whole, this industry employs over 100 million people directly and a similar number in related jobs, contributing a whopping 9 percent of global GDP, or $6 trillion. A closer look at the statistics from institutions such as the World Economic Forum also reveals that 10 percent of all jobs globally are in this sector, and there are logical explanations why certain countries have succeeded.

Analysis reveals that Europe is in the lead in travel and tourism, and all the top ten countries are from the region. Switzerland leads the pack for a number of reasons. Firstly, its infrastructure is second to none and facilities related to the sector are top notch, including staff. Secondly, the country has a reputation as having the best hotel management schools in the world. Thirdly, Switzerland’s environmental policies are of a very high standard, heavy emphasis being placed on sustainability. This forward thinking has been emulated by countries such as Germany, Austria, Spain, France, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

Investment in the travel and tourism sector cannot be overemphasized, and in Africa, this is clearly evident in a number of countries. The ratio of investment in the industry to GDP in Seychelles is the second highest in the world, and in Kenya, high government spending on destination marketing has seen the industry grow to be the top foreign exchange earner. This continued investment suggests that the industry continues to develop and has not reached stagnation. In essence, this is an immensely important industry and any country that wants to boost its economy must seriously consider high investment in the sector, particularly since even in times of recession, job growth is seen to be on the rise and can be an attractive argument to increase investment.

Many aspects of a country can set it apart, making travel and tourism a very viable option; the lifestyle of the people, their traditions and customs, culinary culture, wildlife, landmarks, and more that can be said to be truly unique. After all, traveling is all about new experiences, and as long as mankind thirsts for these new experiences, this industry will continue to grow, and no doubt countries should take advantage of the huge and enormous potential within their shores that is unlimited in every respect.