International Tourism Exports Reach USD1.5 Trillion
International tourism receipts rose by USD48 billion in 2014, reaching a record of USD 1.25 billion, the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has revealed in a press release. This was further augmented by USD221 billion via international passenger transport, bringing total international tourism exports to USD1.5 trillion.
“International tourism is an increasingly significant component of trade, as seen in export earnings from international tourism and passenger transport,” said UNWTO Secretary General Taleb Rifai. He also noted the significant increase in tourism spending in 2014 despite decreasing commodity prices. Tourism ranks fourth after fuels, chemicals and food as a worldwide export category and ranks first in many developing countries.
International tourism receipts grew in all regions. Europe, with a 41% share in international tourism receipts, saw an increase (in absolute terms) in tourism earnings of USD17 billion, reaching USD509 billion. Earnings of Asia and Pacific (30% share) jumped by USD16 billion, totaling USD377 billion. The Americas (22% share) saw a hike in receipts of USD10 billion, amounting to a total of USD274 billion. The Middle East (4% share) witnessed an increase in earnings of an estimated USD4 billion, totaling USD49 billion. Africa (3% share) saw earnings increase by USD1 billion, reaching USD36 billion.
China and the UK moved up in the top ten earners’ rankings. China, previously 5th, now holds the 3rd place after a 10% increase in earnings. The UK skipped two positions to 7th, on the back of the lasting effects of the Olympics and the appreciation of the Sterling Pound.
China, the world’s top spender in terms of outbound tourism, showed a remarkable 28% increase in expenditure in 2014, totaling USD165 billion. The second largest spender, USA, displayed a 7% increase, while the UK registered an increase of 4%, climbing from 5th to 4th. France increased expenditure by 11% and retained the 6th position, while the spending of Russia (5th) and Brazil (10th) lost strength. The remaining top ten positions were taken up by Germany (3rd), Canada (7th), Italy (8th) and Australia (9th).