Global Tourism Clusters See 23% Increase in Investment & Job Creation Rates From 2021 to 2022

A recent report from the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has revealed that the number of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) projects in the tourism cluster increased by 23 per cent from 286 investments in 2021 to 352 investments in 2022.

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Such data also show that Job creation in the tourism sector due to FDI also experienced a 23 per cent increase during the same period, as in 2022, the estimated number of jobs created had risen to over 36,400 jobs, reports.

Last year, Western Europe emerged as the leading destination region for tourism FDI projects. It recorded a total of 143 announced investments, with an estimated combined value of $2.2 billion.

Based on these figures, the Asia-Pacific region also saw a growth in the number of announced FDI projects in 2022. According to the report, the number of projects increased by 2.4 per cent, resulting in 42 projects for the year.

The hotel and tourism sector was dominant in the tourism cluster, comprising nearly two-thirds of all projects between 2018 and 2022. In addition, FDI projects in this sector experienced substantial growth, with a 25 per cent increase from 2021 to 2022.

To ensure the growth and competitiveness of the sector, significant investments must be made in education and talent by upskilling the professional workforce and implementing vocational and technical programmes.

UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili

As he explains, to enable young people to thrive in the sector, it is imperative that we utilise this approach, especially considering that only 50 per cent of them have completed secondary education.

Moreover, the editor of FDI Intelligence, Jacopo Dettoni, also stressed that FDI in the tourism sector is showing signs of revival after almost disappearing during the pandemic years, adding that with COVID-19 now in the past, the tourism industry cannot afford to delay addressing the most important challenge of our age: climate change and the imperative for sustainability.

UNWTO executive director Natalia Bayona further added that UNWTO places an increased focus on innovation, education, and strategic investments as the fundamental pillars for adapting to ever-changing market dynamics.

According to her, UNWTO runs several initiatives to provide the professional workforce with up-to-date skills through skills development and professional workforce programs.

Bayona also said that these efforts create high-quality job opportunities and an increase in average wages throughout the tourism value chain.