The UK travel and tourism sector is expected to create 700,000 jobs within the next decade, according to a report published today.
Forecasts from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) predict that 70,000 new industry jobs will be created in the country per year, up from the 16,000 created last year.
WTTC figures predict the industry’s contribution to GDP will grow this year by 62.7 per cent to around £214bn, with forecasts expecting an annual growth rate of 3 per cent for the next 10 years.
While, by 2032, travel and tourism will make £286bn, 10.1 per cent of the total economy.
Commenting on the data, Kurt Janson, director of trade body the Tourism Alliance, said: “Tourism is not only a key component of the UK economy, employing 3.4m people and generating £154bn in revenue for local economies, it is central to the government policies such as international trade and investment and levelling up.”
Travel expert Rob Staines added that “whilst short term projections remain challenging, the focus on travel and tourism’s overall contribution to GDP must be recognised.”
According to WTTC’s director Julia Simpson, the industry is not given the right consideration by the UK Government.
“After two years of economic damage to the sector, the UK Government continues to take this sector for granted,” she said. “There has been no focus or understanding of how critical Travel & Tourism is to the UK economy.”
Simpson called on the UK Government to address the potential the sector could bring the national economy, warning the UK could be lagging behind EU countries otherwise.
“Smart countries are investing overseas to get visitors back,” she added. “The UK will lose out to other European destinations if this isn’t addressed urgently.”