International tourism - additional information
International tourism is a trillion dollar market with increasing worldwide revenues. In 2009, the industry generated 851 billion U.S. dollars in revenues globally. This increased to approximately 1.2 trillion U.S. dollars in 2015. In recent years, total global outbound travel spending has increased annually and provisional figures suggest spending increased by six percent in 2014. The growth of travel and tourism is internationally significant due to the industry’s economic impact. In 2016, travel and tourism’s total contribution to the global economy was 7.61 trillion U.S. dollars, of which, 2.31 trillion U.S. dollars was a direct contribution.
The growth in global tourism spending could be attributed to the increased accessibility of international travel. Since 1995, the total number of international tourist arrivals has more than doubled. China, the country with the highest travel and tourism expenditure, has seen a large increase in outbound tourism. Between 2009 and 2015, the number of Chinese residents visiting the U.S. increased from around 520 thousand visitors to 2.59 million, this was forecasted to reach 5.72 million by 2021. Global expenditure by international Chinese tourists amounted to approximately 261.1 billion U.S. dollars in 2016. This equated to approximately 21.4 percent of the total international tourist spend that year.
According to a ranking by the World Travel and Tourism Council, the regions which benefit the most from travel and tourism are North America, the European Union and North East Asia. Travel and tourism contributed upwards of 1.5 trillion U.S. dollars to the economies of each of these regions in 2016. Comparatively, the contribution to the GDP of Latin America, the region which was ranked forth, was only 328.2 million U.S. dollars. The high travel and tourism spend in Europe and the U.S. could be generated by the high visitor spend in the regions major cities. In 2015, the two leading cities for international visitor spending worldwide were Dubai and London, with a visitor spend of 31.3 billion U.S. dollars and 19.76 billion U.S. dollars respectively.