Chinese drive global travel growth
July 2, 2019 -- Spending generated by international tourism reached $1,704 billion in 2018 -- $1,448 billion spent at tourist destinations plus $256 billion in international passenger transport services, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
The Madrid-based UNWTO highlights that this four per cent increase shows that tourism exports grew faster than merchandise exports, which stood at three per cent.
The Secretary-General of the UNTWO, Zurab Pololikashvili, pointed out that “both emerging and advanced economies around the world are benefiting from rising tourism income.”
“Revenues from international tourism translate into jobs, entrepreneurship and a better situation for people and local economies while reducing trade deficits in many countries,” he explained.
Continuing a long term trend, Europe leads the way in overseas visits, receiving 713 million visitors -- or 51 per cent -- last year alone.
According to UNWTO data, China was the biggest spender in the world with international tourism expenditure of $277.3 billion in 2018, a 5.2 per cent increase in real terms over 2017.
Global tourism has increased exponentially since the end of the second world war. In 1950 there were 25 million international tourist visits, rising to 166 million in 1970, 435 million in 1990, and 1,402 million last year.