Travel and tourism drive massive economic growth in China, says WTTC CEO

The CEO of the World Travel & Tourism Council emphasized the significant impact of travel and tourism on China’s economy. This sector is fostering economic growth, creating jobs, and boosting GDP, making it a critical pillar of China’s development.

The CEO of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has highlighted the profound impact of the travel and tourism sector on the Chinese economy, asserting that this industry is a major driver of economic growth and development in the country. Speaking at a recent conference, the CEO underlined the critical role that tourism plays in fostering economic prosperity, creating jobs, and enhancing China’s GDP.

“Travel and tourism are contributing massively to the Chinese economy,” the CEO remarked. “This sector is not just a vital source of economic growth, but it also plays a crucial role in job creation and boosting GDP. It is one of the key pillars of China’s development strategy.”

China’s travel and tourism industry has experienced exponential growth over the past few decades. With its rich cultural heritage, diverse landscapes, and rapidly expanding infrastructure, the country has become one of the top travel destinations in the world. According to WTTC data, travel and tourism directly contributed $1.58 trillion to China’s GDP in 2023, accounting for approximately 10% of the nation’s total economic output.

The WTTC estimates that in 2023, travel and tourism were responsible for around 80 million jobs, representing about 10.5% of total employment in the country. These jobs span various industries, including hospitality, transportation, entertainment, and retail, demonstrating the sector’s extensive reach and influence.

Moreover, the CEO pointed out that tourism has played a crucial role in regional development, particularly in less economically developed areas of China. Tourism has provided new opportunities for rural communities, boosting local economies and helping to alleviate poverty. For many regions, tourism has become a key driver of economic diversification and sustainability, reducing reliance on traditional industries and promoting cultural preservation and environmental conservation.

The WTTC CEO also highlighted the impact of international tourism on China’s economy. China has become a major destination for international travellers, attracting millions of visitors each year. In 2023, the country welcomed over 160 million international tourists, who spent an estimated $330 billion. This influx of international tourists has bolstered foreign exchange earnings, supported local businesses, and contributed to the overall economic growth of the nation.

As China continues to attract a growing number of tourists, the need for responsible tourism that minimizes environmental impact and promotes cultural sensitivity has become increasingly important. The WTTC is working closely with Chinese authorities and industry stakeholders to promote sustainable tourism initiatives that balance economic growth with environmental protection and cultural preservation.

Looking ahead, the CEO expressed optimism about the future of travel and tourism in China. The country’s ongoing investments in infrastructure, including the development of new airports, high-speed rail networks, and tourism facilities, are expected to further enhance its appeal as a travel destination. Additionally, government policies aimed at boosting domestic tourism and expanding international travel partnerships are likely to drive continued growth in the sector. The CEO concluded by stressing the importance of collaboration between public and private sectors to maximize the benefits of tourism for China’s economy and society.