The economic impact of cities report analyzed 82 destinations around the world
The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) has revealed positive signs of recovery for Australia’s Travel and Tourism sector with major cities welcoming travelers once again.
The Cities Economic Impact Report, sponsored by Visa and researched in partnership with Oxford Economics, analyzed key travel and tourism metrics in 82 cities around the world, including contribution to GDP, employment and traveler spending.
Analysis across Sydney, Melbourne and Perth shows that the direct contribution of Travel & Tourism to each city’s GDP and jobs continues to rise. But prolonged border closures in Australia and key markets such as China mean visitor spending figures remain low.
The contribution to GDP of the Travel & Tourism sector is steadily recovering
The WTTC Cities Economic Impact Report shows that in 2019, the city’s Travel & Tourism sector contributed over A$4.5bn to the Perth economy, and A$10bn and A$13bn. Australian dollars to the economies of Melbourne and Sydney, respectively.
But the pandemic had a devastating effect on Australia’s national economy and the economies of its major cities, as the border was closed to foreign visitors.
In Perth, Travel & Tourism’s contribution to GDP fell by almost half (to just under A$2.5bn) and in Sydney by nearly two-thirds (to A$5bn) in 2020. In Melbourne, the contribution to GDP fell by almost three-quarters to just AU$3BN the same year.
Melbourne experienced a resurgence in 2021, rising to AU$4BN, but both Sydney and Perth saw continued declines. Sydney fell to just over AU$4BN and Perth to just over AU$2BN.
All three cities are now showing signs of recovery, albeit at different rates.
Last year, Perth was showing the slowest signs of recovery and the GDP contribution is forecast to be around half of what it was in 2019, approaching AU$2.75BN. Last year, the WTTC forecast Melbourne and Sydney to be just 25% and 27% below 2019 levels, respectively, at almost A$8bn and A$9.5bn.
Julia Simpson, President and CEO of WTTC, said: “Australia is an incredibly vibrant country, popular with overseas visitors, but with borders remaining closed at home and in Australia’s largest source markets, the country has suffered for a longer period compared to other countries.
“As China reopens, the future looks bright for travel and tourism and the critical contribution it makes to Australia’s economy and jobs.
“It is crucial that central and local government continue to recognize the economic and social importance of travel and tourism.
“The sector has shown its resilience and, with the right support, the recovery can be much faster and stronger.”
jobs on the rise
The employment figures paint a slightly mixed picture.
In 2019, there were just over 40,000 travel and tourism jobs in Perth. In 2020 this number fell to just over 31,000, experiencing a slight increase to 34,000 in 2021 but is estimated to have fallen again in 2022 to just under 27,500.
Both Melbourne and Sydney are experiencing a further recovery of jobs in the sector. In Sydney, employment levels in 2022 are projected to exceed 118,500, 16% below pre-pandemic levels, and in Melbourne employment levels are projected to be 115,000, just 6% below. below 2019.Visitor spending continues to struggle
As tourists return to cities, we see signs of a recovery in terms of international visitor spending, albeit slower than in many other major cities around the world due to extended border closures in Australia.
Despite seeing signs of a recovery in international visitor spending and more tourists returning to cities, this has taken longer in Australia as its main source markets such as China also extended their own border closures.
But finally, these three Australian cities are starting to turn around. While international visitor spending is still on average 46% lower in 2022 than it was in 2019, all three cities are showing strong year-over-year increases.
Source : UNWTO