Growth in export earnings exceeds long-term trend
Total export earnings generated by international tourism in 2013 reached $1.4 trillion, according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer.
Receipts earned by destinations from international visitors on accommodation, food, drink, entertainment, shopping and other services and goods, grew by 5% to reach $1.16 trillion. That growth exceeds the long-term trend. An additional $218 billion was earned by international passenger transport.
“These are very positive results as growth in international tourists last year was equal to growth in income generated by over one billion tourists that travelled the world in 2013, for business, leisure, visiting friends and relatives or other purposes. Such results confirm the increasingly important role of the tourism sector in stimulating economic growth and contributing to international trade,” said UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai.
“These results show that it is time to position tourism higher in the trade agenda so as to maximize its capacity to promote trade and regional integration.”
Europe, which accounts for 42% of all international tourism receipts, saw the biggest growth in 2013, up $35 billion to $489 billion (€368 billion). Destinations in Asia and the Pacific, which accounted for 31% of all tourism receipts, boosted earnings by $30 billion to $359 billion.
In the Americas (20% share), receipts increased by $16 billion to $229 billion. In the Middle East (4% share) total tourism receipts are estimated at $47 billion and in Africa (3% share) $34 billion.
[pictured: Thalassitra Church, Milos, Greece]