World Bank Group Forum Highlights Economic Power of Tourism

Travel and tourism accounts for about 10 percent of global GDP, there generates one out of eleven jobs worldwide (about 277 million), help and is an increasingly vital component of developing economies, according to experts at the World Bank Group’s Tourism Forum 2015.

The forum that gathered public and private sector officials, travel and tourism specialists, and development economists highlighted the enormous and growing economic importance of what is often thought of as a niche economic sector.

“In 2013, tourists spent $413 billion in developing countries, about three times the amount of official development assistance that year,” World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said in remarks opening the forum.

“In Kenya, tourism produces 14 percent of national economic output and 12 percent of total employment,” he added.

Uganda Tourism is projected to contribute $12 billion to the country’s GDP according to Uganda’s Vision 2040.

According to the Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, Maria Mutagamba, Tourism is one of Uganda’s number one foreign exchange earner.

Mutagamba said last year the total employment for the tourism sector was 592,500 employees representing 8.6% of total employment in Uganda.

The wide ranging topics covered over two days of panel discussions included risks and vulnerabilities associated with tourism, such as the threat of terrorism and the misperception that tourism produces only low-quality jobs, as well as benefits and opportunities, including the spin-off effects of tourism and the ability of tourism to grow in places with few other employment opportunities.


Step one in the public and private efforts to develop tourism as a vital economic sector involves conveying its economic potential beyond industry specialists.

“Very few people are aware that 10 percent of global GDP is in tourism,” said Christopher Nassetta, President and Chief Executive Officer of Hilton Worldwide.

“There is not a broad awareness of the current economic impact travel and tourism is having, let alone what it could do,” he added.

Tourism is one business sector in which developing countries, with their rich cultural and natural assets, have a front-end advantage over developed countries, as reflected by the increasing tourist travel to developing regions; and it is a labor intensive field.

According to Nassetta, for every 30 additional tourists there is one new job created in a tourist business. This dynamic is expected to generate 75 million new jobs over the next 10 to 15 years.

“Tourism has a wonderful potential to create jobs, and jobs are the path out of poverty for the vast majority of the people we’re dealing with,” said John Perrottet, a senior tourism industry specialist with the World Bank Group’s Trade & Competitiveness Global Practice (T&C).

Back to top button
Translate »

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker