Vu, K., & Hartley, K. (2022). Drivers of Growth and Catch-up in the Tourism Sector of Industrialized Economies. Journal of Travel Research, 61(5), 1156–1172. https://doi.org/10.1177/00472875211019478
COVID-19 decimated global tourism. As governments and firms strategize the sector’s recovery, insights from the sector’s pre-pandemic period of high growth offer useful policy lessons. This study examines the drivers of the tourism sector’s growth and catch-up performance in 13 industrialized economies over the period 2000–2015, using data from the EU-KLEMS database. The findings have three notable policy implications. First, the tourism sector in most countries experienced significant growth. However, value-added growth was driven largely by labor employment expansion while labor productivity declined in most countries. Second, weak investment in non–information and communications technology (ICT) capital and declining total factor productivity are the principal impediments to labor productivity growth. Third, all countries embraced digital transformation but many lagged on innovation and labor quality. These findings are analyzed to identify policy strategies for the tourism sector’s post-pandemic recovery.