The global travel and tourism sector grew at 3.9% to contribute a record $8.8trn and 319 million jobs to the world economy in 2018.
For the eighth consecutive year, this was above the growth rate of world gross domestic product (GDP).
This is according to the World Travel & Tourism Council's (WTTC) annual research into the economic impact and social importance of the sector.
The research, conducted over the last 25 years by WTTC, represents the global private sector of travel and tourism.
Travel and tourism's contribution in 2018:
- Contributed $8.8trn to the global economy;
- Grew faster than the global economy;
- Generated 10.4% of all global economic activity;
- Represented one in ten of all jobs globally;
- Is responsible for one in five of all new jobs created in the world over the last five years;
- Is the second-fastest growing sector in the world;
- Increased its share of leisure spending to 78.5% (from 77.5% in 2017);
- Increased its share of spending from international tourists to 28.8%, up from 27.3% in 2017.
Gloria Guevara, WTTC President and CEO, said 2018 was another year of strong growth for the global travel and tourism sector, reinforcing its role as a driver of economic growth and job creation.
"In 2018, travel and tourism generated $8.8trn and supported 319 million jobs across the world.
"Yet again, this proves the power of travel and tourism as a tool for governments to generate prosperity while creating jobs which particularly support women, youth and other, often marginalised groups of society," she said.
"In fact, travel and tourism now accounts for one in five of all new jobs created worldwide and is forecast to contribute 100 million new jobs globally over the next ten years, accounting for 421 million jobs by 2029."