The travel and tourism sector worldwide grew 4.6 percent, faster than the 3 percent growth by the world’s economy, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council’s annual Economic Impact Research.

TRAVEL AND TOURISM created 7 million jobs in 2017, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council’s annual Economic Impact Research. The travel and tourism sector worldwide grew 4.6 percent, faster than the 3 percent growth by the world’s economy.

Last year was the seventh consecutive year the travel and tourism sector has outperformed the global economy, according to WTTC. In 2017 the sector showed stronger growth than all sectors, such as manufacturing (4.2 percent), retail and wholesale (3.4 percent), agriculture, forestry and fisheries (2.6 percent) and financial services (2.5 percent).

The travel and tourism sector contributed $8.3 trillion to global GDP, or 10.4 percent, either directly or indirectly, according to the report. It accounted for $1.5 trillion in global exports and $882 billion in investment.

“Travel & Tourism creates jobs, drives economic growth and helps build better societies,” WTTC President and CEO Gloria Guevara said. “Our research shows that our sector was responsible for the creation of one in five of all jobs globally. In the last few years, governments around the world are realizing the extraordinary benefits of tourism and I congratulate them for taking steps to maximize the potential of our sector.”

WTTC forecasts the sector will continue to grow an average of 3.8 percent each year over the next decade. It also is expected to support more than 400 million jobs globally and contribute around 25 percent of global net job creation over the next decade.

“As our sector continues to become more important both as a generator of GDP and jobs, our key challenge will be ensuring this growth is sustainable and inclusive.  Already in 2017, we have begun to see a backlash against tourism in some key destinations,” Guevara said. “Going forward, we need to ensure that growth is planned for, well managed and includes partnerships between not only the public and private sectors but also includes communities themselves.”