There’s money in tourism …

Tourism is an important player in the worldwide economy: In 2009, it accounted for just over 9% of global GDP and employed about one in twelve workers, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council.

As a sector, international tourism has been growing at a slightly faster pace than the world economy. Despite the recession and the downturn in tourism numbers,
that trends looks likely to continue over the long-term. Employment in tourism is also growing relatively strongly: Between 2000 and 2007 in OECD countries, the growth rate for employment in hotels and restaurants was over 2% per year, more than a percentage point ahead of the total employment growth rate.

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While France may lead the way in the number of international arrivals, when it comes to income from international tourism, the US is well ahead, with a value of $134 billion earned in goods and services sold to international visitors in 2008. That was well over double the level for France of about $55 billion. Travel and tourism accounted for nearly $1.4 trillion in total economic output for the US in 2008, and employed – directly and indirectly – one in 16 workers.

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