As one of the biggest contributors to the global The Travel and Tourism (T&T) industry directly contributes about 3.6% of the world’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and indirectly contributes about 10.3% to it. As one of the biggest contributors to the global GDP, this industry directly employs nearly 77 million people worldwide, which comprises about 3% of the world’s total employment. The T&T industry also contributes to indirect employment generation to the tune of 234 million or 8.7 % of the total employment implying that one in every twelve jobs in the world is in the tourism industry. The industry also represents about 12% of the total world exports. Global market trends indicate that long-haul travel, neighbouring country tourism, rural and ethnic tourism, wellness and health holidays, cultural tourism, spiritualism, ecotourism, sports and adventure holidays, and coastal tourism and cruises are a few emerging areas of tourist interest. From a geographic viewpoint, there has been a remarkable rise in Asian tourists, particularly from China and East Asian countries. Further, the average age of the international tourist has also been reducing representing a growing segment of young tourists who would typically travel to take a break from increasingly stressful professional lives. Given the above factors, robust growth in tourism is likely to continue in the coming years. The World Tourism Organisation (WTO) forecasts over one billion arrivals in 2010 versus approximately 693 million today (See Exhibit below). Worldwide long-distance travel is likely to grow faster (5.4% each year) than travel within regions (3.8%). Continuing world prosperity, growing recognition of tourism’s contribution to employment and economic growth, availability of better infrastructure, focused marketing and promotion efforts, liberalization of air transport, growing intraregional cooperation, and a growing number of Public-Private-Partnerships (PPPs) are seen as the key drivers for tourism in the next decade.

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