The travel and tourism industry is the world’s largest commercial service sector industry. The World Trade Organization (WTO, not to be confused with the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)) is the leading international body that monitors international macroeconomic data. In total, Travel & Tourism to GDP was USD7,613.3bn (10.2% of GDP) in 2016, and is forecast to rise by 3.6% in 2017, and to rise by 3.9% pa to USD11,512.9bn (11.4% of GDP).
in 2027. In 2016 Travel & Tourism directly supported 108,741,000 jobs (3.6% of total employment). This is expected to rise by 2.1% in 2017 and rise by 2.2% pa to 138,086,000 jobs (4.0% of total employment) in 2027.
Over the decades, tourism has experienced continued growth and deepening diversification to become one of the fastest growing economic sectors in the world. Modern tourism is closely linked to development and encompasses a growing number of new destinations. These dynamics have turned tourism into a key driver for socio-economic progress. Today, the business volume of tourism equals or even surpasses that of oil exports, food products or automobiles. Tourism has become one of the major players in international commerce, and represents at the same time - one of the main income sources for many developing countries. This growth goes hand-in-hand with an increasing diversification and competition among destinations. This global spread of tourism in industrialized and developed states has produced economic and employment benefits in many related sectors - from construction to agriculture or telecommunications.