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WTTC: Travel & Tourism Sector will be Critical to Powering Turkey’s Economic Recovery

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A major new report has revealed Turkey continued its strong bounce back in 2019, and that its Travel & Tourism sector will be vital to the country’s economic recovery.

The publication by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), which represents the global Travel & Tourism private sector, of its annual Economic Impact Report (EIR), shows how vital a part the sector played in driving the Turkish economy.

According to the 2020 EIR, during 2019, Travel & Tourism supported more than 2.6 million jobs, or nearly a tenth (9.4%) of the country’s total workforce. It also generated nearly TRY 482BN to GDP, or 11.3% to the Turkish economy, growing by a robust 10.1% from the previous year, outpacing the growth of the overall economy for the third consecutive year.

The comprehensive report shows this growth significantly outpaced the overall GDP growth in 2019 of just 0.1% in the same year.

The WTTC EIR report also showed international visitor spend totaled a staggering TRY235BN, representing 17.5% of Turkey’s total exports.

Gloria Guevara, President & CEO, said: “WTTC’s 2020 Economic Impact Report (EIR) shows how incredibly important the Travel & Tourism sector was last year to the Turkish economy, supporting over 2.6 million jobs equating to 9.4% of the total number of people employed.

“Strong growth in 2019 followed significant investment across the country, the new €250m international terminal at Dalaman Airport, and as shown in the WTTC 2019 Cities research, Antalya and Istanbul were named two of the fastest growing cities in the world last year.

“Our analysis underscores how vital the Travel & Tourism sector is to the Turkish economy and the important role it will play in kick starting the recovery, generating new jobs and driving visitors back to the country. It will have a positive economic domino effect on suppliers large and small throughout this fast-growing industry.

“Until then, it is crucial that all governments help to protect this sector – the backbone of the global economy – which is currently in a fight for survival, with up to 100 million jobs globally at immediate risk.”

WTTC’s EIR revealed that, between 2016 and 2018, Germany and Russia each accounted for 10% of all visitors to Turkey, with Georgia reaching 6%, and Iran and Bulgaria level pegging at 5%.

The report also showed Turkey relies heavily on both leisure and international spend, with leisure spend exceeding business by six to one, accounting for 86%, and international spend accounted for 64% compared to 36% domestic.

WTTC regional performance map2019

The Global Picture

On a global level, the Travel & Tourism sector outperformed the 2.5% rate of global GDP growth for the ninth consecutive year in a row, thanks to an annual GDP growth rate of 3.5%. This made it the global economy’s third highest sector in terms of GDP growth.

The EIR shows the sector supporting one in 10 jobs (330 million), making a 10.3% contribution to global GDP and generating one in four of all new jobs.

A breakdown by WTTC shows Asia Pacific to be the top performing region worldwide with a growth rate of 5.5%, followed by the Middle East at 5.3%. The US and EU both demonstrated a growth rate of 2.3%.

WTTC’s 2020 EIR Turkey report is available here

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