08.11.2013.Travel and tourism is one of the largest and fastest-growing service industries globally. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), the industry’s direct contribution to World GDP in 2012 was US$ 2.1 trillion (2012 prices) and it supported 101 million jobs. Taking account of its combined direct and indirect impacts, WTTC assesses Travel & Tourism’s total economic contribution at 9% of World GDP in 2012, 1 in 11 jobs, 5% of total economy investment and 5% of world exports (Economic Impact of Travel and Tourism 2013, Annual Update, WTTC)
The tourism industry is of particular importance for Georgia, which, like many other developing countries, is short on physical capital and technical skills but is very well endowed with historical sites, original traditions, pristine landscapes and a culture of hospitality. While unlikely to serve as an engine of long term growth, the tourism industry’s added advantage for a country like Georgia is that it can absorb some of the surplus labor currently under-employed in the low skill and low productivity agricultural sector.