UNWTO highlights reveal world’s top travel markets and destinations


Japan entered the world’s top 10 destinations in terms of tourism earnings in 2017, among the highlights in UNWTO’s most recent report.

International tourist arrivals grew 7% in 2017, the highest increase since 2010, UNWTO’s Tourism Highlights shows. Growth in arrivals was mirrored by a strong increase in exports generated by tourism, which reached US$1.6 trillion in 2017, making tourism the world’s third-largest export sector.

China leads outbound travel spend, while Russians re-enter the ranking of top 10 spenders

Among the top markets and destinations in the world, Spain rose to become the world’s second most-visited destination in terms of international arrivals, after France.

In terms of tourism earnings, Japan entered the top 10 in 10th place after six straight years of double-digit growth. Meanwhile, Russia re-entered the top 10 of world spenders at eighth place.

The new Tourism Highlights report also illustrates that China continues to lead global outbound travel, having spent US$258 billion on international tourism in 2017. This is almost one-fifth of the world’s total tourism spending in 2017, which stood at US$1.3 trillion, some US$94 billion more than in 2016.

Available data for early 2018 has since confirmed international tourism’s continued strong growth, with a year-on-year increase of 6% in arrivals between January and April.

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