With USD 196.5 billion, China back as world’s top tourism spender in 2023

India climbs to 8th position, US, Canada, Russia, Italy & South Korea among top 10
2024-06-06
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/ New Delhi
With USD 196.5 billion, China back as world’s top tourism spender in 2023
With USD 196.5 billion, China back as world’s top tourism spender in 2023

India jumped to 8th place from 14th in 2019

China has recovered its position as top spender on international tourism in 2023 as Asia and the Pacific consolidates its recovery from the impacts of the pandemic.
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China spent USD 196.5 billion on international travel in 2023, more than any other country. The United States spent USD 150 billion, Germany spent USD 112 billion, the United Kingdom spent USD 110 billion, and France spent USD 49 billion. 

As per a press release issued by UN Tourism, the international tourism organisation of the United Nations, the countries that rank among the top ten spenders for 2023 are Canada, Italy, India, the Russian Federation and the Republic of Korea. 

UN Tourism says that India jumped to 8th place from 14th in 2019, confirming the growing importance of the country as a source market, while Italy rose from 10th to 7th position. 

In 2022, the list of top spenders was headed by the United States. France, Spain and USA took the top spots for most-visited destinations.

Top in arrivals and receipts: France, Spain and USA consolidate their positions 

The global body says that France consolidated its position as the world’s most visited destination in 2023 with 100 million international tourist arrivals. 

Spain was second with 85 million, followed by the United States at 66 million, Italy at 57 million and Türkiye, which closed the top five with 55 million international tourists.  

Completing the top 10 most visited destinations in 2023 are Mexico, the United Kingdom, Germany, Greece and Austria. Compared to before the pandemic, Italy, Türkiye, Mexico, Germany and Austria all rose one position, while the United Kingdom rose from 10th to 7th and Greece from 13th to 9th, according to UN Tourism

It says that on the side on international tourism receipts, the ranking is led by the United States, earning USD 176 billion in 2023, followed by Spain at USD 92 billion, the United Kingdom at USD 74 billion, France at USD 69 billion and Italy at USD 56 billion. 

Following the above, destinations earning the most from international tourism in 2023 include the United Arab Emirates, Türkiye, Australia, Canada, Japan, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Macao (China), India and Mexico which complete the top 15 list of tourism earners.  

The statement says that upward movements in the ranking among the top earners include the UK jumping to the 3rd position from 5th pre-pandemic, the United Arab Emirates from 13th to 6th, Türkiye from 12th to 7th, Canada from 15th to 9th, Saudi Arabia from 27th to 12th, and Mexico from 17th to 15th.  

It adds that Croatia went up from 32nd to 25th, Morocco from 41st to 31st and the Dominican Republic from 43rd to 34th also moved up in the Top 50 ranking by receipts in 2023, as did Qatar from 51st to 37th and Colombia 50th to 44th. 

Looking ahead to a full recovery globally in 2024 

As per the latest World Tourism Barometer, in 2023 international tourist arrivals recovered to 89 pc of 2019 levels and to 97 pc in Q1 2024. 

UN Tourism’s projection for 2024 points to a full recovery of international tourism with arrivals growing 2 pc above 2019 levels, backed by strong demand, enhanced air connectivity and the continued recovery of China and other major Asian markets. 

Total export revenues from international tourism, including both receipts and passenger transport, reached an estimated USD 1.7 trillion in 2023, about 96 pc of pre-pandemic levels in real terms. 

The statement adds that tourism direct GDP recovered pre-pandemic levels in 2023, reaching an estimated USD 3.3 trillion, equivalent to 3 pc of global GDP.

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