For the vast majority of human history, tourism didn’t exist. Only in the last half a century or so, since the rise of the middle class and since aviation has joined almost every dot on the map across the planet, has leisure travel become the industry giant it is today.
More than 330 million jobs worldwide depend on it; contributing to about ten per cent of global GDP. In some countries, it is much more; the Carribean being the starkest example.
In the island nation of Antigua & Barbuda, 91 per cent of employment was in the travel and tourism industry last year – the highest share in the world, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).
Beyond the Caribbean, the Chinese casino enclave of Macau is next, with 66 per cent of jobs relying on tourism; followed by the Maldives (60 per cent) and