Last year travel and tourism grew 3.9%, above global GDP growth of 3.2%. Picture: Pexels.
The worldwide travel and tourism sector is still going strong, outpacing the growth of global GDP in 2018 for the eighth year in a row, according to new research from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC). 

According to the WTTC, last year travel and tourism grew 3.9%, above global GDP growth of 3.2% and contributing a record $8.8 trillion and 319 million jobs to the world economy. 

The report also found that the travel and tourism industry generated 10.4% of all global economic activity last year. 

Over the last five years, it has been responsible for one in five of all new jobs created worldwide. It is also the second-fastest growing sector in the world, ahead of healthcare (+3.1%), information technology (+1.7%) and financial services (+1.7%), and behind only manufacturing, which was up by 4%. 

Also in the last year, travel and tourism increased its share of leisure spending to 78.5%, up from 77.5% in 2017. That means that 21.5% of spending in 2018 was on business, down from 22.5% the previous year. 

Spending from international tourists also increased to 28.8% in 2018, up from 27.3% in 2017. That means that 71.2% of spending comes from domestic tourists. 

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Looking ahead, in a written statement WTTC President and CEO Gloria Guevara noted that the travel and tourism industry is forecast to contribute more than 100 million new jobs globally over the next 10 years, accounting for 421 million jobs by 2029.