The Philippine travel and tourism sectors will post an average annual growth of 6.7 percent over the next 10 years, exceeding the expected gross domestic product growth rate of 5.6 percent, the World Travel and Tourism Council said Wednesday.
WTTC president and chief executive Julia Simpson said at the opening of the WTTC Annual Global Summit in Manila that employment in the sector would grow by an average of 3 percent each year over the next decade, generating 2.9 million new jobs and accounting for 21.5 percent of employment in the Philippines.
“Today we gather in Manila for the first Travel & Tourism in-person event in the region since the COVID-19 pandemic. This is very significant as it signals the recovery for what was the fastest growing travel and tourism region in 2019,” Simpson said.
The travel and tourism sector’s contribution to the economy climbed 129.5 percent in 2021 to reach $41 billion from a year ago. The sector supported 7.8 million jobs in the Philippines last year, representing an impressive 20.5-percent rise in 2020.
The summit was attended by over 1,000 delegates, beyond the expectation of organizers given the restrictions that remained in some countries. These included 30 government ministerial delegations from the US, India, Japan, South Africa and the EU and almost 200 international media from around the world.
Simpson said the WTTC was expecting to have positive discussions among members to identify actions and increase alignment to support the sector’s recovery and move beyond to a safer, more resilient, inclusive and sustainable future.
She said the WTTC would also release the 2021 Economic Impact Report which highlights where the travel and tourism sector was in terms of its recovery and what the future holds for the sector over the next decade.
“In addition, I am also delighted to announce the launch of ‘Destination 2030’, in collaboration with JLL, a new major report which addresses destination’s readiness for travel and tourism growth,” Simpson said.
The report addresses the destinations’ preparedness while providing attainable solutions to promote sustainable growth in tourism activity.
The group will also launch another sustainability initiative for the global hospitality industry and a groundbreaking report to help the sector’s stakeholders understand how cyber resilience is shaping the travel and tourism sector and plan for a safer and more robust future.
Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat underscored the summit’s role to shed light on important topics such as the latest travel trends, sustainable investment prospects, meaningful human connections despite contactless interventions, environmental preservation, traveler confidence, seamless international mobility and inequalities in the travel and tourism industry.
“In the nearly two years where international travel was put on hold, the Philippines has been busy preparing for the day when our country would reopen to the world. We have put in place the guidelines that will ensure the safety of our guests, our tourism workforce, and our communities,” she said.
“We are already seeing signs of recovery, with more and more countries opening up for international travel. Your presence here signifies your commitment to rebuilding a safer, more resilient, and more sustainable tourism industry. Ultimately, through this summit, we hope to raise awareness of the full economic and social impact of travel and tourism,” she said.
WTTC’s annual Global Summit is the most influential travel and tourism event with industry leaders and key government representatives collaborating to continue aligning efforts to support the sector’s recovery and move beyond to a safer, more resilient, inclusive and sustainable future.