Number of international tourist arrivals worldwide 1996-2018

This statistic shows the number of international tourist arrivals worldwide from 1996 to 2018. In 2018, it was estimated that the number of international tourist arrivals worldwide would reach approximately 1.4 billion.

International tourist arrivals - additional information

Dipping only during times of global economic hardship, the number of international tourist arrivals has increased steadily almost every year. Numbers have more than doubled, with an estimated 1.32 billion arrivals expected in 2017. The region with the largest number of visitors each year has consistently been Europe. In more recent years, the Asia Pacific region has grown to become the second largest market.

Travel and tourism made a total contribution (direct, indirect and induced) of 8.27 trillion U.S. dollars to the global economy in 2017. Countries with the largest tourism expenditure included China, the United States and Germany. In 2016, Dubai was the leading city in international visitor spending with 31.3 billion U.S. dollars. London and New York followed, with a difference of more than 11 billion U.S. dollars.

As well as having the most international visitor spending, Dubai was also the fourth most popular city destination in the world in 2016, with approximately 14.87 million international overnight visitors. Bangkok was the most popular city with 19.41 million visitors and Paris placed third with 15.45 million. The most popular tourist attraction worldwide was the Las Vegas Strip in the United States with just short of 40 million visitors a year.

Number of international tourist arrivals worldwide from 1996 to 2018

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Release date

August 2019



Survey time period

1996 to 2018

Supplementary notes

*Provisional figure

Figures for 2005, 2010, 2015, and 2016 were revised according to the newest available release of the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer.

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