Sometimes it is easier to explain with picture….
Tourism accounts for more than 9% of global GDP, creates 1 out of 11 jobs; is valid 1.5 trillions of US$ in export; accounts for 6% of total and 30% of service exports.
International tourist arrivals (overnight visitors) hit a record 1133 million worldwide in 2014, up from 1087 million in 2013. Demand continued to be strong in most source markets and destinations, despite ongoing geopolitical, economic and health challenges in some parts of the world. With 46 million more tourists travelling the world (+4.3%), 2014 marks the fifth consecutive year of robust growth above the long-term average (+3.3% a year) since the financial crisis of 2009. Europe (+3%) led growth in absolute terms, welcoming 15 million more international tourists in 2014 to reach a total 582 million arrivals. The Americas recorded the fastest relative growth across all UNWTO regions with an 8% increase in international arrivals to reach 181 million – 13 million more than in 2013. Asia and the Pacific saw an increase of 5%, equivalent to 14 million more tourists, taking the regional total to 263 million arrivals. International tourism in the Middle East (+5%) rebounded after two years of decline, posting good results in most destinations. The region attracted 3 million more international tourists than in 2013, bringing the total to an estimated 51 million. Africa’s international tourist numbers grew by an estimated 2%, equivalent to an increase of one million arrivals, to reach a total of 56 million tourists.In 2015 growth is expected to continue at a sustained rate of 3% to 4% worldwide. By UNWTO region, prospects for 2015 are strongest for Asia and the Pacific and the Americas (both +4% to +5%), followed by Europe (+3% to +4%). In Africa (+3% to +5%) and the Middle East (+2% to +5%), prospects are positive but more uncertain and volatile.
International Tourist Receipts
Receipts from international visitor spending on accommodation, food and drink, entertainment, shopping and other services and goods reached an estimated US$ 1245 billion (euro 937 bn) in 2014, an increase of 3.7% in real terms (taking into account exchange rate fluctuations and inflation). In absolute terms, international tourism receipts in destinations around the world increased by US$ 48 billion (euro 36 billion). Europe, which accounts for 41% of worldwide international tourism receipts, saw the largest increase in absolute terms: up by US$ 17 billion to reach US$ 509 billion (euro 383 bn). Asia and the Pacific (30% share) recorded an increase of US$ 16 billion, reaching US$ 377 billion (euro 284 bn). In the Americas, (22% share) receipts increased by US$ 10 billion to a total of US$ 274 billion (euro 206 bn). In the Middle East (4%share) tourism receipts increased by an estimated US$ 4 billion to US$ 49 billion (euro 37 bn) and in Africa (3% share), receipts increased by US$ 1 billion to US$ 36 billion (euro 27 bn). In relative terms, the Middle East was the fastest growing region with a 6% increase in receipts, followed by Asia and the Pacific and Europe (both +4%) and the Americas and Africa (both +3%). In macro-economic terms, expenditure by international visitors is counted as exports for the destination country and as imports for the country of residence of the visitor. For many countries inbound tourism is a vital source of foreign currency earnings and an important contributor to the economy, creating much-needed employment and further opportunities for development. In addition to creating receipts in destinations, tourism also generates export earnings through international passenger transport services (rendered to non-residents). In 2014, the export value of the latter is estimated at US$ 221 billion, bringing total tourism export earnings to US$ 1.5 trillion (euro 1.1 trillion), or US$ 4 billion (euro 3 billion) a day on average. International tourism (comprising travel and passenger transport) accounts for 30% of the world’s exports of services and 6% of overall exports of goods and services. As a worldwide export category, tourism ranks fourth after fuels, chemicals and food, and ahead of automotive products, and even ranks first in many developing countries.
World’s Top Tourism Destinations
― Gustave Flaubert,