World tourism grows

(VOVworld) – Despite global challenges, international travel grows 4%  with 1.2 billion tourist arrivals in 2016. This is an encouraging figure for the economic growth of countries.

World tourism grows - ảnh 1

China continued to be the world’s leading outbound market. International tourism spending grew to 261 billion USD, an increase of 12%.  The growth in outbound travel from China has benefited many destinations in Asia and the Pacific, most notably Japan, the Republic of Korea, and Thailand, but also more distant places like the US and several European countries.

Tourism spending by the United States, the world’s second largest source market, increased 8% in 2016 to 122 billion USD. Germany, the world’s third largest market, reported 5% growth in international tourism spending last year, reaching 81 billion USD. Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General of the UN World Tourism Organization, said that people continue to have a strong appetite for travel and this benefits many countries around the world, translating into economic growth, job creation, and development opportunities.

Finland has the highest number of outbound tourists with the average Finnish tourist making 7.5 trips per year. Their favorite destinations are Estonia and Sweden. In second place, the average American tourist makes 6.7 trips a year. Americans often spend their holidays on family reunions. During their 5 to 6 weeks of vacation each year, most Danes prefer sailing and enjoying local cuisine.

Tourism development has contributed to economic growth in many countries. Iceland’s tourism grew 19.4% in 2015, compared to national economic growth of 4.8%. The hospitality sector in Japan grew 4.4% in 2015. The Mexican government now allows travelers to enter Mexico with a US visa to encourage tourists to come spend money in Mexico before, after, or during their visit to the US. In 2015, Mexico’s tourism grew 6.9%, three times higher than its GDP growth. Religious tours of Mecca have boosted Saudi Arabia’s tourism. Saudi Arabia earns an estimated 18 billion USD from pilgrimages each year. The Saudi government is working on initiatives to attract even more visitors. The Qatari government is improving Qatar’s infrastructure to boost tourism ahead of the 2022 World Cup there.