Madrid: China consolidated its leadership as the biggest spender in travel abroad in 2017 with US$258 billion in expenditure (+5 per cent in local currency), according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer.
The other three BRIC economies all substantially increased expenditure in 2017. The Russian Federation (+13 per cent) rebounded after a few years of declines, to reach US$31 billion, climbing three places to re-enter the top ten at number 8. Brazil (+20 per cent) also recovered strongly and moved up eight places to number 16 with US$19 billion in expenditure.
India continued its rise with 9 per cent growth in spending to US$ 18 billion and moved up four places in the ranking to 17th.
“Emerging economies play a key role in tourism development and we are very pleased to see the rebound of the Russian Federation and Brazil, and the ongoing rise of India, as these key emerging outbound markets contribute to growth and market diversification in many destinations”, said Zurab Pololikashvili Secretary-General, UNWTO.
Advanced economies also performed robustly in 2017, led by the United States (+9 per cent), the world’s second largest outbound market. US travellers spent US$12 billion more on international tourism to US$135 billion. Expenditure from Germany (3rd largest market) and the United Kingdom (4th) both increased 3 per cent, and from France (5th) 1 per cent.
Australia (6th) reported 7 per cent growth and Canada (7th) a 9 per cent increase.
Completing the top ten are the Republic of Korea (9th) where expenditure grew by 9 per cent and Italy (10th) where it increased by 6 per cent.
Beyond the top ten, tourism spending also grew notably in Sweden (+14 per cent) and Spain (+12 per cent).
These strong results in outbound tourism are consistent with the 7 per cent increase in international tourist arrivals in 2017.
Demand for travel was particularly high in Europe, where arrivals increased 8 per cent last year.