Global tourism - additional information
In 1995, there were around 530 million international tourist arrivals worldwide. Today, however, figures can be found to have exceeded the one billion mark. By 2030, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has projected the number of international tourist arrivals to almost double again, reaching more than 1.8 billion. The largest market for international tourist arrivals has always been Europe, but UNWTO’s forecast suggests that, in the next decade or so, the Asia Pacific region will not be far behind, increasing from 82 million arrivals in 1995 to 535 million in 2030. In fact, the sub-region with the largest number of tourist arrivals worldwide in 2030 is expected to be North-East Asia.
The global tourism industry is one of the most lucrative – in 2016, travel and tourism made a total contribution of 7.61 trillion U.S. dollars to the global economy, with 2.31 trillion coming directly from the industry. This is unsurprising considering the amount of money devoted to tourism by many countries worldwide. China, for example, the country which spent the most on tourism; with a total of 165 billion U.S. dollars spent on the industry. The United States ranked second and spent 112 billion U.S. dollars while Germany, ranking third, spent 92 billion U.S. dollars.
As the world’s population becomes increasingly mobile, people are free to travel almost anywhere they want. In 2016, the most popular city destination for global tourists was Bangkok, Thailand, where 21.47 million tourists flocked that year.