France leads tourism recovery, WTTC research reveals

Published on : Monday, November 8, 2021

New research from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) reveals France’s Travel & Tourism sector’s recovery could achieve a growth of 34.9% this year.

The news comes on the day WTTC, which represents the global Travel & Tourism sector, its members, and business leaders worldwide, head to Paris for the Destination France summit.

Organised by President Emmanuel Macron and with an opening speech from WTTC chairman and president & CEO of Carnival Corporation & Plc Arnold Donald, the event will focus on driving travellers back to the destination.

WTTC says the sector’s growth this year is set to soar ahead of Europe’s overall recovery at 23.9% and the global recovery at 30.7%.

In 2019, France’s Travel & Tourism sector’s contribution to GDP represented EUR211 billion (8.5% of the national economy).

In 2020, when the pandemic brought international travel to a grinding halt, the contribution of the Travel & Tourism sector fell to just EUR108 billion (4.7% of the national economy).

However, according to the latest research, at the current rate of recovery, France’s Travel & Tourism sector can expect a year on year growth of almost 35%, representing an increase of EUR38 billion.

The data also reveals that the country could see a year on year increase of 21.8% in 2022, contributing a further boost to the economy of EUR32 billion.

The global tourism body says that whilst a rise in domestic travel has provided some relief to the nation, it is not enough to achieve the full recovery needed to salvage its economy and the millions of jobs lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The research goes on to show that while domestic spending is set to increase by 56.6% year on year in 2021, international spending could decrease 1.9% this year.

However – next year – while domestic spending is set to rise once again, with a year on year growth of 9.9%, international spending is expected to rebound 67.8%, in turn providing a massive boost to both jobs and employment.

In terms of employment, the French Travel & Tourism sector supported almost 2.7 million jobs before the pandemic struck.

After suffering a loss of almost 200,000 jobs last year, the research shows that employment is set to remain stagnant in 2021.

However, again the outlook is more positive next year with an expected rise of 9.4%, providing an additional 236,000 jobs across the country.

WTTC President & CEO, Julia Simpson said according to latest research shows that France’s Travel & Tourism sector is beginning to recover faster than its neighbours although there is still a long way to go.

With the right measures to support Travel & Tourism, the number of those employed in the sector next year could surpass pre-pandemic levels, with a year on year increase of 13.2%, which would see the total number of people employed in the sector reach more than 2.9 million.

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