UAE Travel and Tourism outstripping global economic and job creation averages
- United Arab Emirates: Sunday, March 17 - 2013 at 12:03
- PRESS RELEASE
New economic research released by The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) shows that Travel & Tourism in the UAE is growing significantly faster than the world GDP growth average - something which will be discussed in detail, when tourism leaders from around the world meet in Abu Dhabi for WTTC's Global Summit this April.
Taking account of direct, indirect and induced impacts, Dhs193.6bn ($52.7b) of the UAE's GDP came from the industry in 2012 and that contribution is expected to rise by 3.2% by the end of the year.
One in nine of all jobs in the country are resulting from the industry, which beats the global average of one in eleven jobs. A total of 383,500 jobs were supported by travel and tourism in the UAE in 2012 and by the end of this year, the number is expected to further rise by 2.6% to 393,500 jobs, compared with a global expected increase of 1.7%
Nearly a quarter - 23% - of the country's total investment in 2012 - AED82.8bn - was directed into the industry last year and investment is set to increase by an additional 12% this year.
David Scowsill, President & CEO of WTTC, said: "As the UAE looks to diversify its economy, it is fully embracing the social and economic benefits of tourism and reaping the rewards already from its strong investment. This is one reason why WTTC selected Abu Dhabi for its Global Summit in April.
"Tourism leaders, Ministers from all over the world and opinion formers from academia and the media will gather from 9-10 April to discuss the way forward for the industry - and Abu Dhabi is an ideal emerging tourism destination to do that in."
Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), which is hosting the Summit along with Etihad Airways, the UAE's national carrier, says the diversification of career opportunities which the Travel & Tourism sector holds out for the Emirati workforce is a key element in the emirate's plans to build a sustainable tourism industry.
HE Mubarak Al Muhairi, Director General, TCA Abu Dhabi, said: "We are increasingly seeing Emiratis becoming involved in this sector, which has been identified as a key economic diversification driver in the Abu Dhabi 2030 plan.
"This involvement is taking the form of Emirati entrepreneurs launching their own tourism-related SMEs, with the help of the Khalifa Fund For Enterprise Development, others taking up posts within airlines, the airport, TCA Abu Dhabi, the hospitality sector and within Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company.
"We have activated a number of initiatives aimed at introducing UAE nationals to the diverse opportunities that exist within the travel and tourism sector and expect their participation to continue to grow."
James Hogan, Etihad Airways' President and Chief Executive, said: "Abu Dhabi has established itself as one of the world's leading capital cities which is recognised by its choice as host of the 2013 WTTC Global summit.
"Abu Dhabi offers visitors a wealth of world class developments across many areas that include culture, sport, education, engineering and many more. These ensure that greater numbers of business and leisure travellers will continue to fly with Etihad Airways to Abu Dhabi.
"Etihad Airways is proud to play a central role in driving Abu Dhabi's economy with more than 9,400 members of staff living and working in the UAE's capital. In addition, in 2012 the airline contributed 10.6% of Abu Dhabi's non-oil GDP and supported 83,500 jobs."
By 2023, international tourist arrivals to the country are forecast to total 25.8 million, generating visitor expenditure of Dhs207.1bn ($56.4bn) an increase of 5% per annum.
David Scowsill continued: "It's clear that the industry is going to be a significant driver of growth and employment in Abu Dhabi for the next decade. Its purposeful sustainable tourism approach will see it achieve its full potential of becoming a world class tourism destination in the next ten years."
The full report on the UAE can be found here. This is one of 184 country and 24 regional economic impact reports and forecasts on Travel & Tourism's economic contribution, which WTTC is publishing.
For the first time, WTTC has also published the highlights of its results in animated form, in the hope of further raising the Industry's profile globally.
Please click here for a short video from David Scowsill on his views on the economic results and forecasts and here for a longer Q&A on the global industry.
Attendance at The Global Summit is complimentary and by personal invitation only to bona-fide journalists.
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