Exports generated by international tourism reached USD 1.7 trillion in 2018, a 4% increase in real terms over the previous year, a new report from the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) shows. For the seventh year in a row, tourism exports grew faster than merchandise exports (+3%), reflecting solid demand for international travel in a generally robust economic environment.
Total exports from international tourism include USD 1,448 billion in international tourism receipts (visitor spending in destinations) and USD 256 billion in international passenger transport services. International tourism receipts increased 4% in real terms (adjusting for exchange rate fluctuations and inflation) in 2018, about USD 100 billion more than the previous year. This is consistent with the 6% increase in international tourist arrivals in 2018.
By regions, Asia Pacific led the way with 7% growth in international tourism receipts, followed by Europe with a 5% increase. Asia Pacific recorded 345 million international tourist arrivals, up by 6%, and tourism receipts rose 7% to USD 433 billion during the time.
China, the world’s top spender reported USD 277 billion in international tourism expenditure in 2018, a 5% increase in real terms from a year earlier, while the United States, the second largest, spent 7% more, to reach USD 144 billion.
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