Tourism. Facts and perspectives worldwide


In this brief document, we want to highlight some interesting facts about the huge importance of Tourism worldwide. Moreover, we are going to underline some specific data that was published by the World Economic Forum (WEF) in 2022.

First, lets start saying that the concept of “Tourism” encompasses both: direct activities (hotel occupancy, meals or visiting touristic attractions), and indirect activities (transportation, laundry and many other activities). Second, in order to “qualify” as a tourist, according with the World Trade Organization (WTO), we must travel and spend no more than one year living outside of our habitual residence, even though such trip is for leisure, business or any other reason. Such criteria explain why it is complex to obtain reliable data about Tourism Industry.

Sometimes talking about numbers or statistics may be boring or vague, however there are some facts about tourism that are strong enough to understand the importance of the industry worldwide. Some of those figures are:

  • Supports around 6% – 7% of world`s workers (including indirect employment)
  • Represents 5% of the world GDP
  • Global tourism industry worths 1 USD trillion a year
  • In over 150 countries, tourism is one of five top export earners

With such information it is clear that tourism industry has been, is, and will be, a key economic factor for many countries (maybe for all) and globally speaking. Acknowledging that fact, we reviewed the Travel & Tourism Development Index (TTDI)[1] in order to know what the factors and polices are that enables the sustainable and resilient development of the Travel & Tourism (T&T) sector, and according with this interesting report, they are as follow:

  1. Enabling Environment. Captures general conditions for operating in a country (Business Environment; Safety and Security; Heath & Hygiene; Human Resources; ICT Readiness).
  2. Travel & Tourism policies. Covers strategic aspects, for instance, Prioritization of T&T, International openness; Price Competitiveness.
  3. Infrastructure. Asses Physical infrastructure: Air transport; Ground and port; Tourist Service infrastructure.
  4. T&T Demand Drivers. It relates to identify “reasons to travel” (Natural, Cultural, Non-Leisure Resources).
  5. T&T Sustainability. Measures potential sustainability risks and challenges related with environment, overcrowding demand,

A general conclusion of this report state that, after losing about 4.5 USD trillions and more than 62 million jobs in 2021, the T&T industry is gaining pace worldwide, however from the WEF perspective, the industry has changed and countries must review its policies and strategies for speed up such recovery.

Travel & Tourism Development Index 2021: Rebuilding for a Sustainable and Resilient Future | World Economic Forum (

Miguel Rodríguez from Auren Cancun

[1] TTDI is a document that according with WEF “is a evolution of the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index which has been published biennially for the past 15 years”.