International Tourism Profits Grow 5% in 2013

Alina Khorosheva, 28.05.2014 08:01
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Total international tourism profits for 2013 reached $1,400,000,000,000. Additional profits of the industry for the same year were $218bn, reports the United Nation's World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

According to the latest data, international tourism yielded $1,159,000,000,000 of profit for the world’s cities and airports, which was generated by tourists spending money on accommodation, food, drinks, entertainment, shopping and other services. The growth was 5%, exceeding the long-term forecast.

“This is a very positive trend, one which confirms that tourism is moving to the forefront of the global economy,” said Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General of the UNWTO.

According to him, these results show that tourism needs to be taken even more seriously in order for its economic potential to be fully realized, which in turn will also help in developing trade and regional integration.

By the way, international tourism currently takes up 29% of the global services export. Tourism places fifth among the global export industries, coming in after the energy, chemical, food and automotive industries. However, for many developing countries tourism is the most important industry.

According to the research data published by the UNWTO, the countries of the Pacific Rim form the quickest-growing tourism market. The profits of the region’s destinations (which bring in 31% of all tourism proceeds) grew $30bn, reaching $359bn.

Europe, which accounts for 42% of all proceeds from the international tourism, turned the biggest profit from the industry in 2013.

North and South America got 20% of the tourism proceeds last year, Near East – 4%, and Africa – 3%.

The top-10 of leaders among travel destinations (inbound tourism) looked like this: Thailand (+23%), Hong Kong and Macao (+18% each as separate destinations), the UK (+13%), the US (+11%), and also Spain, France, China, Italy and Germany, which all on average grew 1-5%.

Interestingly, the emerging economies – China, Russia and Brazil – accounted for about $40bn of additional profits for the global travel market in 2013. Chinese tourists were 26% more active than the year before; in terms of outbound tourism, Russia was the fourth most active country, with the growth of 25%, and Brazil placed ninth with a 13% growth.

At the same time, the performance of the key markets in developed countries paled in comparison, with the exception of Australia, which demonstrated a 9% growth. The growth of total expenses on tourism was 5% in France and below 2-4% in the US, Germany, the UK and Canada.

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