World Economic Outlook Report Underlines Tourism’s Importance for Growth

Saturday, November 11, 2023


The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has recognized tourism as a crucial factor in economic recovery and growth. The IMF report highlights the positive effects that the tourism sector’s quick recovery will have on some global economies, with UNWTO data suggesting that, in the best-case scenario, visitor numbers will return to 95% of pre-pandemic levels by year’s end.

The World Economic Outlook (WEO) Report projects global economic growth at an estimated 3.0% in 2023 and 2.9% in 2024. Although these figures represent an improvement from earlier forecasts, they remain below the 3.5% growth recorded in 2022. The report attributes this to ongoing pandemic effects, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and challenges related to the cost-of-living crisis.

Tourism Recognized as Key Growth Sector
The World Economic Outlook (WEO) report delves into economic growth across global regions, emphasizing the positive correlation between robust economic activity and countries with substantial travel and tourism sectors. Notably, economies with “large travel and tourism sectors” exhibit robust levels of economic activity and strong economic resilience.

More precisely, compared to economies where tourism is not a major sector, those where it accounts for a large portion of GDP have recovered from the pandemic’s effects more quickly.

As the report Foreword notes: “Strong demand for services has supported service-oriented economies—including important tourism destinations such as France and Spain”.

Looking Ahead
The latest IMF outlook aligns with recent UNWTO analysis, projecting international tourism to reach 80% to 95% of pre-pandemic levels in 2023. The ongoing recovery is fueled by pent-up demand and improved air connectivity, particularly in Asia and the Pacific, where recovery remains more subdued. A more detailed assessment is expected with the release of the November 2023 World Tourism Barometer

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