Global tourist arrival number grows 5% to 12.1 billion in 2018
01/18/2019|1:50:13 PM|WTCF

The Report on World Tourism Economy Trends (2019) is a research report published by the World Tourism Cities Federation and the Tourism Research Center, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. The report reviews the global tourism economy in 2018 and the trend of the global tourism industry in 2019.

In 2018, the global total tourist arrivals (including domestic tourism revenue and international tourist arrivals) reached 12.1 billion, with a growth rate of 5%. Compared with 2017, the growth rate decreased slightly. It is estimated that the growth rate will pick up to 5.5% in 2019.

The global total tourism revenue (including domestic tourism revenue and international tourism revenue) reached USD 5.34 trillion, equivalent to 6.1% of global GDP. The global total tourism revenue is expected to reach USD 5.54 trillion in 2019, equivalent to 6.0% of global GDP. From a long-term perspective, the gap between GDP growth and global tourism revenue growth gradually narrows.

In 2018, the total international tourist arrival worldwide reached 1.279 billion, an increase of 49 million over the previous year, with a growth rate of 4.0%. It is estimated to reach 1.332 billion in 2019, with a growth rate of 4.1%. The global international tourism revenue reached USD 1.59 trillion. an increase of USD 0.5 trillion or 3.1% over the previous year, and is expected to achieve four consecutive years of growth.

The domestic tourist arrivals worldwide reached 10.82 billion, with a growth rate of 5.1%. It is estimated to reach 11.43 billion in 2019, with a growth rate of 5.7%. The global domestic tourism revenue reached USD 3.76 trillion, an increase of 3.1%. it is expected to reach USD 3.9 trillion in 2019, with a growth rate of 3.7%.

Domestic and international tourism both grew in the Asia Pacific Region, with tourism development as the biggest contributor to the region’s GDP. In 2018, the Asia Pacific Region received about 22.7% of the world’s inbound tourists, and this proportion increased year by year. In terms of the growth rate of domestic tourist arrivals, the Asia Pacific Region was far ahead of other regions. In 2018, the growth rate reached 6.9%, 3.2, 3.7, 5.7 and 6.8 percentage points far higher than that of the Middle East, Africa, Americas and Europe.

In the past decade, as the tourism economy developed at varying speeds in different regions, the gap in the proportion of the tourism economy to GDP is getting larger among these regions. Specifically, the proportion of the tourism economy to GDP in the Asia Pacific region increased from 7.3% to 10.6%. 

In terms of the proportion to total tourism revenue in the world, the top 20 countries account for nearly or more than 80%. Since 2012, the United States, China, Germany, Japan and the United Kingdom have occupied the top five in total tourism revenue. 

In 2018, global investment in tourism reached USD 964.81 billion. From a long-term perspective, tourism investment growth slowed from 13.1% in 2005 to 4.8% in 2018, and is expected to reach 5.1% in 2019.

The Asia Pacific region has the largest scale of investment in tourism, which accounted for 38.7% of the total global tourism investment. The Americas and Europe ranked second and third with 28.7% and 23.4% shares, respectively. The growth rate of tourism investment in the Middle East was the highest at 5.4%, 5.2% in Asia Pacific, 4.5% and 4.2% in the Americas and Europe, and 2.6% in Africa which was the lowest.

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