China, US, Germany top table for outbound tourism spend


According to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer most source markets reported higher tourism spending in 2017, reflecting continued strong demand for international tourism across all world regions.

Both emerging and advanced economies fuelled growth, led by the US that spent US$12 billion more than the previous year on travel abroad. China spent US$8 billion more, consolidating its leadership as the biggest spender in the world. The Russian Federation spent US$7 billion more and Brazil US$5 billion more, both rebounding from weaker spending in previous years. Strong tourism expenditure reflects enhanced connectivity, increased visa facilitation and a global economic upswing.

All top 25 source markets reported higher spending on international tourism in 2017. The Russian Federation (+13%) rebounded after a few years of declines, to reach US$ 31 billion. Brazil (+20%) also recovered strongly with US$19 billion in expenditure. India continued its rise with 9% growth in spending to US$18 billion.

Advanced economies also performed robustly in 2017, led by the US (+9%), the world’s second largest outbound market. US travellers spent US$ 135 billion. Expenditure from Germany (3rd largest market) and the United Kingdom (4th) both increased 3%, while France (5th) increased by 1%.

Australia (6th) reported 7% growth and Canada (7th) a 9% increase. Completing the top ten are the Republic of Korea (9th) where expenditure grew by 9% and Italy (10th) where it increased by 6%. Beyond the top ten, tourism spending also grew notably in Sweden (+14%) and Spain (+12%).

These strong results in outbound tourism are consistent with the 7% increase in international tourist arrivals in 2017. Demand for travel was particularly high in Europe, where arrivals increased 8% in 2017.

World's top tourism spenders 2017:

Country US$ billion spend 2017 Increase on 2016 %
China 258 5
USA 135 9
Germany 84 3
UK 63 3
France 41 1

UNWTO World Tourism Barometer April 2018

The now defunct China National Tourism Administration showed a Chinese outbound tourism expenditure figure for 2017 of US$115.3 billion with a 5% year-on-year growth rate. The new ministry of culture and tourism seeks to improve the quality of tourism statistics and close the gap of US$140 billion between the Chinese and UNWTO data.




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