World tourism rises faster than trade for fourth year

The UN World Tourism Organisation says tourism spending has outpaced global trade for the fourth year in a row.

The UN World Tourism Organisation says tourism spending has outpaced global trade for the fourth year in a row.

The US followed by China are the world’s most popular destinations, followed by France and Spain.

According to the UNWTO’s figures, released earlier this month, international tourism grew by 4% in 2015 generating $966 billion.

In comparison, global trade increased by just 2.8% in 2015 according to the World Trade Organisation.

“Tourism is today a major category of international trade in services,” said UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifa.

In 2015, tourism accounted for 7% of the world’s total exports up from 6% in the previous year.

Tourism spending, which includes accommodation, food, entertainment, and services, has helped to offset drops in exports that have occurred as commodity prices have fallen.

“Tourism has shown a strong capacity to compensate for weaker export revenue in many commodity and oil exporting countries,” said Mr. Rifai. “Tourism is increasingly an essential component of export diversification for many emerging economies as well as several advanced ones.”

Falling commodity prices have lowered the overall value of imports for many countries. According to the CPB Netherlands Bureau of Economic Policy Analysis, 2015 was the worst year for world trade since 2009.

The increase in international tourism came even as attacks at transportation hubs and on airlines raised concerns about travellers’ safety.

The US and China, along with the UK were the leading sources for outbound travellers. The number of outbound tourist from China has risen every year since 2004 with their spending increasing by 25% last year.

Since 2010 tourism has been the fastest growing sector in the UK in employment terms. Britain is forecast to have a tourism industry worth over £257 billion by 2025.

Inbound tourism to the UK

The 36.1 million overseas visitors who came to the UK in 2015 spent £22.1 billion – both setting records. These figures represent a 5% increase in volume and 1% (nominal) increase in value compared with 2014.

In 2015 the UK ranked eighth in the UNWTO international tourist arrivals league, a position held for a number of years, behind France, USA, Spain, China, Italy, Turkey and Germany.  The UK accounted for 2.9% of global arrivals in 2015.

In 2015 the UK was in sixth place in the international tourism earnings league (down from fifth in 2014) behind the USA, China, Spain, France and Thailand according to UNWTO figures.

The UK accounted for 3.4% of international tourism receipts in 2015.

In 2015 France, the USA and Germany were the top three markets in terms of number of visits to the UK accounting for 30% of visits.  The top three markets measured in terms of visitor spend were the same markets although in a different order (USA, France and Germany) accounting for 27% of all overseas visitor spend in the UK.

London accounts for 54% of all inbound visitor spend, the rest of England 34%, Scotland 8% and Wales 2%.

October 31, 2016  Tags: , , , ,   Posted in: Business Exports, Business Jobs, Business Survival, Business Win, Exporting Businesses, Finance Business, Global Business, Uncategorized

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