World Travel & Tourism Council lauds rapid growth of industry; set to grow 3.2% this year
The UAE's travel and tourism industry is growing significantly faster than the world growth average, according to new new economic research released by The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).
It said the tourism sector contributed 14 percent to the UAE economy in 2012 - well above the global trend of 9 percent.
Taking account of direct, indirect and induced impacts, AED193.6bn ($52.7bn) of the UAE's GDP came from the industry last year and that contribution is expected to rise by 3.2 percent 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 11 jobs, the WTTC said.
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 percent to 393,500 jobs, compared with a global expected increase of 1.7 percent, its data showed
Nearly a quarter (23 percent) 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 percent this year, according to the report.
David Scowsill, president and 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."
By 2023, international tourist arrivals to the country are forecast to total 25.8 million, generating visitor expenditure of AED207.1bn ($56.4bn) an increase of 5 percent per annum.
Scowsill added: "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."