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Tourism's economic contribution to the region

August 18, 2017. As one of Africa's largest economic contributors, Travel & Tourism creates jobs, drives exports, and contributes to the sustainable prosperity of the region. The sector has a positive economic impact on local communities, and also encourages the sharing of Africa's colourful, diverse story including the regions social, cultural, environment and heritage treasures.

Africa tourism sector brings USD$166 billion in GDP and 20.7 million jobs in 2016

According to a new report, released in June, by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), the WTTC Benchmarking Report 2017, the African tourism sector brought USD$166 billion in GDP and 20.7 million jobs in 2016, making the sector larger than chemicals and automotive manufacturing, and the finance sector in terms of GDP contribution; and the largest employer of all industries.

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It is easy to applaud the efforts or even to criticise the failings of Travel & Tourism in isolation without looking at the picture of our industry separate from the overall industrial context. Our sector contributes 10.2% of global GDP and supports 1 in 10 jobs when you look at the total impact and this research helps to put these achievements in context, and gives a clear picture as to the strength of Travel & Tourism. Business and leisure travel creates opportunities, empowers communities and enhances local livelihoods. There are still challenges to sustainable growth, and the WTTC will continue to urge public and private sector to invest into our sector and implement policies that are favorable for growth while safeguarding the world’s assets.
David Scowsill, President & CEO, World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC)

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Below: Singita Ebony Lodge, Sabi Sands Game Reserve, a privately owned game reserve adjacent to the Kruger National Park in South Africa. Credit: Jessica138. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons. Image source: