Global leisure tourism spending rose by roughly 25 percent in 2021 over the previous year, following a dramatic drop in 2020 due to the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Despite the annual increase, the total expenditure by leisure travelers worldwide remained way below pre-pandemic levels, amounting to roughly 2.9 trillion U.S. dollars in 2021.
Leisure tourism vs. business travel
Leisure tourism mainly refers to vacations, visits to friends or relatives, and all journeys made for leisure purposes. On the other hand, business travel includes all trips taken for work-related reasons, such as attending meetings, congresses, and conferences. In 2021, global business tourism spending was estimated at 754 billion U.S. dollars, denoting a 47 percent drop compared to 2019 due to the health crisis.
How did the COVID-19 pandemic impact international tourism?
figures are in constant 2021 prices and exchange rates as of April 2022
Figures for 2019 and 2021 were calculated by Statista by combining data on leisure travel spending for the following regions: North America, Europe, Caribbean, Latin America, Africa, Middle East, North East Asia, South Asia, South East Asia, and Oceania. All regional figures can be found here.
Data for 2020 was calculated by Statista based on the percentage changes in global leisure travel spending from 2019 to 2021, as indicated by the source.
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Statista. (October 6, 2022). Leisure tourism spending worldwide from 2019 to 2021 (in billion U.S. dollars) [Graph]. In Statista. Retrieved November 30, 2022, from https://www.statista.com/statistics/1093335/leisure-travel-spending-worldwide/
Statista. "Leisure tourism spending worldwide from 2019 to 2021 (in billion U.S. dollars) ." Chart. October 6, 2022. Statista. Accessed November 30, 2022. https://www.statista.com/statistics/1093335/leisure-travel-spending-worldwide/
Statista. (2022). Leisure tourism spending worldwide from 2019 to 2021 (in billion U.S. dollars) . Statista. Statista Inc.. Accessed: November 30, 2022. https://www.statista.com/statistics/1093335/leisure-travel-spending-worldwide/
Statista. "Leisure Tourism Spending Worldwide from 2019 to 2021 (in Billion U.S. Dollars) ." Statista, Statista Inc., 6 Oct 2022, https://www.statista.com/statistics/1093335/leisure-travel-spending-worldwide/
Statista, Leisure tourism spending worldwide from 2019 to 2021 (in billion U.S. dollars) Statista, https://www.statista.com/statistics/1093335/leisure-travel-spending-worldwide/ (last visited November 30, 2022)