The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC)’s latest report shows that North America’s recovery of the sector has been unmatched by other regions of the world, as it is expected to surge by 26.4 percent next year, reaching the pre-pandemic levels.

According to WTTC, North America’s contribution to GDP is expected to rise by 38 percent this year, which is higher than the global average, including revenues generated by tourism in Canada, the US, and Puerto Rico, among the most honorable mentions, VisaGuide.World reports.

North America’s Travel & Tourism sector’s contribution to GDP in 2019 accounted for $2.2 trillion, representing 8.8 percent of the total economy. However, this figure in the last year has dropped to $1.25 trillion.

“Whilst the local economy has benefited from a rise in domestic spend, expected to grow by 43.7 percent by the end of this year, and 21.4 percent in 2022, recent changes to international travel restrictions are also expected to provide a rise in international spend,” WTTC reveals.

Moreover, international spending is expected to grow by 16.9 percent this year, but if the vaccinations continue being implemented, the figure is predicted to grow by 147 percent. 

Employment rates are also expected to rise this year, possibly increasing by 25 percent. Jobs are expected to increase by 16.7 percent next year, meaning that the total number of people hired would surpass the pre-pandemic levels, at almost 27 million.

“Last year, the COVID-19 pandemic cost a devastating seven million jobs from the Travel & Tourism sector, but due to a predicted rise in international and domestic spend this year and next, both jobs and GDP are on the rise,” Julia Simpson, WTTC President said.

She also noted that North America’s contribution to GDP and rise of employment depends on five measures being met:

  • vaccination of the population
  • implementing digital solutions such as EUDCC
  • recognizing all vaccines
  • the distribution of all vaccines equally
  • continuance of the implementation of enhanced health and safety protocols

The Travel & Tourism sector’s contribution to GDP could rise by 43.3 percent by December 2021, generating revenues from the sectors which would contribute to the GDP of about $1.8 trillion. Furthermore, this contribution could rise another 28.8 percent, surpassing it beyond 2019 levels to more than $2.3 trillion.

Moreover, domestic spending is predicted to increase by 49.4 percent this year and another growth of 23 percent in 2022. As a result, the sector could rise by 21 percent in addition to an increase of 164 percent next year.