International tourist arrivals grew by 4.4% in 2015 to reach a total of 1.184 million in 2015, according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. Some 50 million more tourists traveled to international destinations around the world last year as compared to 2014. Overall, 2015 marks the 6th consecutive year of above-average growth, with international arrivals increasing by 4% or more every year since 2010.
Europe was up to 609 million arrivals, Asia-Pacific 277 million, the Americas 191 million, and the Middle East 54 million… a total of nearly 1.2 billion tourists.
Among the world’s top source markets, China, with double-digit growth in expenditure every year since 2004, continues to lead global outbound travel, benefiting Asian destinations such as Japan and Thailand, as well as the United States and various European destinations.
Chinese tourists, now in top position, have spent $182 billion, USA $122 billion, Germany $94 billion, UK $61 billion and Russia just under $50 billion.
Within China, tourism is a growing force. Worth $613.6 billion (approximately 4 trillion yuan) in 2015, China’s tourism industry contributed more than 10 percent to the country’s gross domestic product (source: World Travel and Tourism Council).
China’s domestic travel logged more than 4 billion visits, while outbound tourist visits reached 120 million in 2015, and employment in the sector accounted for 10.2 percent of the country’s total employment (source: China National Tourism Administration).
Now that China-U.S. Tourism Year 2016 is underway, the travel and tourism industries in both China and the U.S. look forward to continued growth.