In a world of declining productivity and real incomes, economist Thierry Malleret takes a look at the tourism/wellness tourism industries, where significant skill and talent gaps threaten to magnify this declining global productivity trend.

Monthly Barometer Excerpt:

Productivity is the most important determinant of long-term growth and rising living standards, so the absence of it means that we’ll have less of each. But how can we be sure?

Some argue that we are much better off, even with stagnating or declining real incomes, because gains in consumers’ welfare are substantial. However, their contribution to GDP growth is uncertain: Skype, Facebook and Twitter did not even exist a few years ago, and it’s hard to tell the extent to which they render our lives “better.” One thing is certain: Gains in consumer’s welfare (if real…) do not raise incomes or increase tax revenues.

Wellness Edition:

This evokes an interesting point regarding the wellness industry. Service industries (as wellness is) tend to have a productivity trend lower than manufacturing industries. In turn, skill or talent issues may magnify the problem of lower productivity trend.

It is well known that the travel & tourism and wellness industries have difficulties in attracting top talent, both for technical and managerial positions. The World Travel and Tourism Council estimates that the total global impact of talent gaps could cost the global economy nearly 14 million jobs and a $630 billion GDP loss, with China, Italy, Japan, Russia and the U.S. suffering the most.

It is therefore critical to implement university and training programs to ensure the tourism and wellness industries keep up with market needs and technological advancements.


Thierry Malleret is the co-founder and primary author of the Monthly Barometer, a predictive analysis provided exclusively to private investors and today’s most influential opinion and decision-makers. Previously he was a senior partner at IJ (Informed Judgement) Partners, an investment boutique for ultra-high-net-worth individuals based in Geneva. Thierry also founded and directed the Global Risk Network at the World Economic Forum (WEF), bringing together top policymakers, CEOs and academics to consider how global issues will affect business and society in the short and long term. For a number of years, Thierry conceived and implemented the WEF program at Davos. He holds MAs (in economics and history) and a PhD in Economics. He writes a Wellness Edition of his Monthly Barometer, exclusively for the Global Wellness Institute. For a copy of the full report, join the GWI as a Member or Ambassador.

One thought on “The Travel Industry “Talent Gap” Could Cost the World $630 Billion in GDP Losses”

  1. Thank you Thierry for this interesting insight! Totally agree, programs and trainings are ever so important. However during the last 6 years teaching as professor myself, I have experienced some kind of hesitation from BA students towards the subject. Topics like aviation, events management or HR seem to be more attractive than Wellness. How can we further improve the reputation of our industry and make it a desirable workplace?

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