Tourism generates more than a third of jobs and half of GDP in top North American cities
A new study released by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), which for the first time analyses the economic and employment impact of Travel & Tourism in cities, shows that Travel & Tourism can drive up to a third of all employment and half of GDP in the economies of top North American tourist destinations.
North America City Travel & Tourism Impact, which looks at the economic impact of Travel & Tourism in 11 major tourism destinations in North America, shows that the sector generates as much as 39% of jobs in Cancún, 21% of jobs in Las Vegas, 18% of jobs in Honolulu.
As a share of GDP generated by Travel & Tourism, Cancún tops the table with nearly half (49%) of the city’s GDP being generated by the sector. Las Vegas comes second with 18.2% followed by Orlando with 18.1%.
Looking at the volume of Travel & Tourism GDP, the sector’s impact is the highest in New York with tourism pumping USD$23.7 billion into the city’s economy. Orlando ranks second in the list with USD$23 billion, followed by Las Vegas with USD$19.5 billion.
The study also looks at city’s share of tourism GDP in relation to the contribution of Travel & Tourism to GDP for each of the three countries of North America. For example, Mexico City generates more than a quarter of Mexico’s Travel & Tourism GDP. Toronto generates 16% of Canada’s Travel & Tourism GDP. And added together, New York, Orlando, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Honolulu and Washington DC to generate 20% of the US’ Travel & Tourism GDP.
Domestic vs international tourism
The study also shows that there is a big difference in breakdown of domestic versus international tourists in cities in North America studied for this report. For example, in New York almost half of the tourism revenue comes from international spending (48%). This share is similar in San Francisco, Toronto and Cancún.
In comparison, other cities in the region rely more heavily on domestic tourism. In Chicago, Las Vegas and Orlando, over 85% of all visitor spending comes from the domestic market. In the region, Mexico City has the highest reliance on domestic visitors with 91% of its spend coming from within the country.
Gloria Guevara, President & CEO, WTTC, said: “This study is hugely important as it quantifies for the first time just how vital Travel & Tourism sector is to city economies and job creation, and helps highlight to the authorities and the private sector the importance of sustainable investment in Travel & Tourism.
The report reflects the importance of planning for a successful destination. Developing visitor attractions and other tourism infrastructure drives Travel & Tourism and therefore brings city growth and benefits to citizens and visitors. With the growing numbers of travellers and connectivity to cities increasing it is important cities look at dispersing visitors across the cities and beyond.”