We are currently facing some of the biggest international challenges in recent history. Tourism offers a surprising number of solutions to key political objectives, such as economic growth, jobs, eliminating the causes of migration and economic stability – especially in southern Europe.
A tourism record and many positive effects
2017 has been a record year in terms of international tourist arrivals, with the global figure passing the 1.3 billion mark. The tourists travel to rest and recuperate. But for the millions of people involved in tourist transportation, catering and accommodation services, the tourism industry means jobs, prosperity and income. That’s why tourism can help many regions to resolve the challenges they currently face:
- Developing countries: Migrants come to the EU because they don’t believe they have a future in their own countries. The tourism industry can make a key contribution to eliminating the economic reasons for migration. 1.8 million jobs are being created today in emerging and developing countries by German tourists – jobs that mean opportunities for local residents. In the Maghreb states, in particular, tourism has shown how it can make a positive contribution to stabilising fragile regions.
- EU: Although southern Europe was particularly hard hit by the financial and economic crisis, tourism cushioned the effects of the recession and stimulated new growth. Between 11 and 19 percent of gross domestic product in Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain is accounted for by the travel and tourism industry. One in five jobs in Portugal and one in four jobs in Greece are also dependent on tourism.
- Germany: In Germany there are almost three million jobs in tourism. Accounting for 6.8 percent of the country’s total employment, it provides substantially more jobs than the construction and mechanical engineering sectors. Germany is also home to the world’s leading tourism group, the TUI Group, which is headquartered in Hanover. The TUI Group has 11,000 employees and over 1,000 travel agencies in Germany. It also offers career opportunities, and hundreds of young people are currently doing their apprenticeships with TUI.
Using tourism to achieve political objectives
In the next legislative period, the German government should focus to a greater extent on the tourism industry’s positive impacts on people and development. TUI’s Global Growth Programme makes it an ideal development project partner.
Out of the crisis thanks to tourism
The Greek economy has returned to growth after nine years of recession. It’s no coincidence that the turnaround coincides with a new record year in tourism. Greece caters to well over 25 million holidaymakers every year, and one in five euros of gross value added in Greece is contributed by tourism. It also currently provides a total of 900,000 jobs in Greece, 50,000 of which were created in 2017.
At a meeting with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in Athens at the beginning of October, the TUI Group’s CEO Fritz Joussen reiterated the TUI growth strategy. It plans to continue investing in Greece and intends to recruit a substantial number of additional personnel.