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Investments in necessary infrastructure lag behind industry growth. Despite the significant contributions of the travel and tourism industry to the global economy - including the creation of hundreds of millions of jobs - levels of private and public infrastructure investment in airport development, accommodation, roads, railways, and communication technologies lag behind rates of industry growth. This has led to significant bottlenecks and limited potential opportunities. According to a report published by Deloitte in 2019, travel growth to that point had US travel infrastructure bursting at the seams, and facing problems in terms of capacity and modernization (problems that will have to be address as global travel rebounds post-pandemic). The report cited a need for an additional $4.5 trillion in related infrastructure investment in facilities including airports, railways, ports, and roads by 2025, before the problem potentially impacts the country’s overall GDP and employment growth. It is not just the US that is faced with shortcomings - around the world, airports and border controls need to become smarter, and travel infrastructure must become leaner, in order to meet the needs of people who want to move around securely and seamlessly. According to the 2019 edition of the World Economic Forum's Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report, the quality of infrastructure in Europe and Eurasia had helped to make that region the most competitive in the world - particularly in terms of air transport infrastructure (which includes available seat kilometres, number of departures, and number of operating airlines) and ICT readiness (including online services and mobile network coverage). Meanwhile the Asia-Pacific region boasts the world’s most impressive air transport infrastructure, according to the report, and its investment in ground, port, and tourist service infrastructure (which includes the availability of sufficient-quality accommodation, resorts, and entertainment facilities) are apparent. According to the report, 92 out of the 140 countries included had registered improvements in terms of related infrastructure since 2017, helping 88 of these countries improve in terms of their overall travel and tourism competitiveness. In general, however, there is a need for greater dialogue between the public and private sectors in every country in order to ensure a more integrated travel and tourism infrastructure strategy.

Investments in necessary infrastructure lag behind industry growth

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