The travel and tourism sector saw record growth in 2018, up to $8.8 trillion from $8.3 trillion in 2017. It has made huge contributions to the world’s combined gross domestic product and supports 319 million jobs.

A report released by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) stated that travel and tourism generated 10.4% of the world’s total economic activity in 2018. The rapid growth of travel and tourism in regions like Oceania, Southeast Asia, India, and China has contributed to this growth.

North America is considered a mature market, along with Europe, and these regions have had a hand in promoting healthy figures, but North America has seen the slowest growth in 2018. Meanwhile, the fall of the British pound against a range of major currencies has made the United Kingdom an attractive destination for global tourists. The fastest-growing region is the Caribbean, followed closely by Southeast Asia.

The WTTC report states that travel is now responsible for creating one out of every five new jobs worldwide. In the next 10 years, this sector is expected to generate 100 million new jobs worldwide, which means this sector will employ close to 421 million people by 2029.

During the same time, the sector is expected to create 20 million jobs in Asia and Africa. South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Northeast Asia are emerging as new hubs for travel and tourism. Experts say that there are endless job opportunities for youth in these regions and across segments.

India, China, and Japan dominate travel and tourism employment in the Asia-Pacific region, with job openings coming up in travel agencies, ticketing offices, tour operations, transport offices, hotel management, airlines, and cruises.

Traditionally, some of these areas, like tours and travel activities, were hard pressed to find good talent or retain them. But the advent of the Internet has changed that. With the digital transformation of the industry, new revenue streams have been identified.

Today, emerging tech like AI and blockchain are used by travel organizations that want to produce authentic and better booking experiences for users. This has, in turn, led to a rising demand for data scientists, digital marketing experts, process automation experts, robotics engineers, information security analysts, software and applications developers, social media managers and blockchain specialists, among others.

We see hotel brands leveraging these technologies to offer guests a more authentic and immersive experience. Technology has made it possible to deliver the travelers a luxurious leisure experience in an affordable package.

Not to be left out of the travel boom, many airlines around the world are expanding and upgrading their fleets with attractive amenities to meet travelers’ expectations. This has led to rising demand for professionals in many areas, including medical departments, engineering and maintenance, ground services, and cabin crews.

A positive trend is that these new job openings come with industry-leading compensation packages and benefits. The rosy job outlook, however, demands new and advanced skills that will lead the digital transformation.