The World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) Travel & Tourism Economic Impact 2023 Global Trends Report revealed that in 2022, Antigua and Barbuda was one of the top island destinations that received a significant percentage of their economies’ investment in travel and tourism.
The U.S. Virgin Islands ranked first, with 35% of total economic investment, closely followed by Antigua & Barbuda at 34% and Aruba at nearly 32%.
According to the Travel & Tourism Economic Impact 2023 Global Trends Report by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), the travel and tourism industry is bouncing back from the setbacks caused by the pandemic.
The report shows that despite the challenges faced in recent years, there is a strong resurgence in travel and tourism investment, indicating a return to growth.
Between 2010 and 2019, investment in the industry grew steadily at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.3%, increasing from $754.6 billion in 2010 to $1.1 trillion in 2019, which accounted for 4.5% of the total economy-wide investment.
However, the pandemic led to a decline of 24% in 2020 and a further 8% in 2021. But, there is good news as 2022 has marked a turning point.
In 2022, the travel and tourism industry saw a surge in investment, reaching $856 billion, an increase of 11.1% from the previous year.
Although this was 22.5% lower than the investment levels seen in 2019, it was still 53% higher than in 2000.
The Asia-Pacific and Africa regions saw a significant increase of 161% in investment compared to 2000, while Europe and the Middle East experienced more modest growth due to the pandemic undoing much of their progress in the last two decades. Despite this setback, investment in these regions remained above 2000 levels.
The United States led the top ten markets in terms of absolute investment in the sector in 2022, with $213 billion, followed by China with $146 billion and Saudi Arabia with $42 billion.
Private investment in new aircraft, hotels, and car fleets is crucial for boosting the sector’s capacity, with public investment complementing this growth. Together, these investments create a powerful synergy that leads to more jobs, bigger economies, and stronger communities.
According to Julia Simpson, the president/CEO of WTTC, “Investment in travel & tourism is not just a numbers game; it is the heartbeat of global connectivity and economic revival.”
Despite setbacks from the pandemic, 2022’s growth is a promising sign of what’s to come.
The sector’s resilience and potential for innovation continue to drive us forward. WTTC forecasts robust 11.5% growth in investment in 2023, amounting to $955 billion, with a return to pre-pandemic levels anticipated by 2025.
By 2033, WTTC forecasts a promising 6.1% average annual growth globally, with the strongest annualized growth rates projected to be in Asia-Pacific and the Caribbean.
However, the global hike in interest rates creates challenges for future investment. With central banks increasing interest rates to combat rising inflation, the cost of borrowing and products increases.
This could present a risk to future investment in the sector, making it crucial for the public and private sectors to work together to innovate and ensure the continual strengthening of this vital industry.