Number of international tourist arrivals worldwide 1950-2018

This statistic shows the number of international tourist arrivals worldwide from 1950 to 2018. The number of international tourist arrivals rose to approximately 1.4 billion in 2018.

International tourism – additional information

As international travel has become more accessible, the number of international tourist arrivals has greatly increased. The availability of air travel to the public has been one factor in increasing the number of international tourist. The first commercial jet debuted in 1950, when there were around 25 million international tourist arrivals worldwide. Since then the commercial aviation industry has grown greatly, with an estimated 7,141 commercial air carriers in the U.S. alone, as of 2017. Tourism has grown alongside the aviation industry, reaching with about 1.32 billion international tourist arrivals worldwide in 2017. In the same year, the region with the largest number of international tourist arrivals was Europe, with 670.6 million tourists arriving from abroad, followed by Asia Pacific with 323.1 million.

Like the number of tourist arrivals, 2017 saw a high revenue generated from international tourism, at around 1.34 trillion U.S. dollars globally. This figure had more than quadrupled since the year 2000, when it was at 475 million U.S. dollars.

The increase in tourism revenue could be partly attributed to the spending of Chinese travelers. Between 2006 and 2016, the number of Chinese outbound journeys had more than tripled, from 34.5 million to 135.13 million. In 2016, China accounted for 21.4 percent of the total international tourism expenditure. In terms of U.S. dollars, China’s international tourism spend reached around 257.7 billion U.S. dollars in 2017, over 120 million U.S. dollars more than the United States.

Number of international tourist arrivals worldwide from 1950 to 2018

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Release date

August 2019



Survey time period

1950 to 2018

Supplementary notes

*Provisional figure

Figures from 1990 to 2015 were revised according to the newest available release of the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer

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Statistics on "Tourism worldwide"

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