Jimoh Babatunde with agency reports
Tourism only becomes an important part of the economy when it directly supports and contributes to a country. One of the main factors that can be used to measure the industry’s impact on a community is that of job creation; a crucial area in any economy.
The tourism industry already accounts for 266 million jobs worldwide, and with global travel set to grow even more over the next ten years it is likely that this figure will only increase further.
There are of course other things one can use to measure the impact of tourism on a country, such as GDP growth and tourism revenues, but it is often employment and the opportunity to work that directly affects the general population.
With a great many destinations now releasing their tourism figures from 2014, we take a look at some of the strongest performers in job creation and the positive influence this has has on each community.
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) stated that the great potential of the accommodation and food services sector’s contribution to the Nigeria’s economy, specifically in the area of job creation, is yet to be fully embraced.
In its latest data released last month , the Bureau revealed that the total number of persons employed in accommodation and food services sector have been on the rise with the total number of people employed in the sector between 2010 and 2012 totaling 374,508.
“In 2010, the number of persons employed by the sector was 342,794 but the figure increased by 44,804 or 13.07 per cent to 387,598 in 2011 but reduced by 13,090 or 3.38 per cent to 374,508 in 2012.”
A breakdown based on sex category revealed that in the three years span, Nigerian male dominated with 200,061 employed in 2010, which increased by 33,693 or 16.84 per cent to 233,754 males employed in 2011.However, it declined by 26,482 or 11.33 per cent to 207,272 employed in 2012.
There was a steadier increase in the Nigerian female category, which ranked second highest with 111,201 employed in 2010, it increased by 9,555 or 8.59 per cent to 120,756 in 2011 and increased by 7,898 or 6.54 percent to 128,654 Nigerian females employed in 2012.
Spain had a remarkable year for tourism in 2014 and was actually the third most visited country in the world over that period, according to the Telegraph. Our own research shows that the European nation welcomed 65 million international tourists over the course of last year, which is a truly remarkable feat.
This influx of visitors has also had a tremendous impact on the job creation in the country, with one in every nine jobs being attributed to tourism. Spain’s unemployment levels dropped significantly in 2014, according to the Wall Street Journal, as the overall economy started to find its feet again. Although the recovery will continue tentatively into 2015, it’s safe to assume that tourism has had a positive influence in the area of job creation as the country begins to finally shake off the constraints of the last recession.
Spain’s prime minister Mariano Rajoy was awarded the UNWTO/World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) Open Letter on Travel and Tourism highlighting the country’s tremendous tourism record and the impact it has had on society, economic growth and job creation.
New York City, USA
New York had another record-breaking year in 2014 as the city welcomed a staggering 56.4 million people – an increase of visitors for the the fifth year in succession.
This huge influx of people had a huge impact on the city’s economy and generated $61.3 billion in revenue. Job creation was also significantly affected with 359,000 employment opportunities coming from the tourism sector alone.
The rise in working positions also coincided with a general drop in New York City’s unemployment rate which reached its lowest point in six years last October. In fact, the leisure and hospitality sector – an area strongly linked with tourism – was one of the biggest contributors in job creation over the 12-month period leading up to October and accounted for 4,000 new positions in this month alone, according to the New York Times.
Durban, South Africa
With Johannesburg and Cape Town to contend with, Durban certainly faces a number of challenges when it comes to attracting international visitors. However, 2014 saw the South African city attract 7.4 million people, according to Traveller24, a 12.4 per cent increase on the previous year.
Some 95,396 jobs were created as a result of this, which were largely sustained throughout the year, with the positive growth spilling over into 2015 already. Indeed, 15,492 jobs have already been generated by the tourism sector from December to January this year, although some of these will most definitely be seasonal and more temporary in nature.
It seems that Durban’s stock will further increase this year, after the destination was named as a New7Wonder city of the world. Hopefully, this will translate in to yet more job creation and further benefit the community.