Global tourism industry - Statistics & Facts

Global tourism industry - Statistics & Facts

Statistics and facts on the global tourism industry

The travel and tourism industry is one of the world’s largest industries with a global economic contribution (direct, indirect and induced) amounting to around 6.5 trillion U.S. dollars. The direct economic impact of the industry including accommodation, transportation, entertainment and attractions is estimated at 2 trillion U.S. dollars in 2012.


The industry has experienced steady growth all over the world. The number of international tourist arrivals, for example, has risen from 675 million in 2001 to 983 million arrivals in 2011; a total increase of more than 45 percent. The number of arrivals is projected to rise to more than 1.36 billion by 2020. Most of the arrivals are made up by travelers originating from Europe, with Germany as the country with the highest international tourism expenditure worldwide (84.3 billion U.S. dollars in 2011). The U.S. is the second biggest spender with approximately 79 billion U.S. dollars, closely followed by China (72 billion U.S. dollars). The expenditure of Chinese international travelers has seen strong growth over the past few years growing by more than 25% in 2010 and 32% in 2011.

Within the travel & tourism sector the cruise industry has been an industry with particularly strong growth with almost 30 billion U.S. dollars in total revenue in 2011 (25 billion U.S. dollars in 2009) and more than 19 million passengers worldwide in 2011 (17 million in 2009). The U.S. have profited from the emergence of the BRIC-countries. The inbound travel from Brazil, Russia, India and China to the U.S. has steadily risen over the past ten years.
Photo: sxc.hu / kolobsek, barunpatro

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