2016 results on expenditure from major outbound markets reflect increasing demand for international tourism across the world, as reported in the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. With a 12% increase in spending, China continued to lead international outbound tourism, followed by the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom and France as top five spenders.
“The latest data on outbound tourism spending are very encouraging. Despite the many challenges of recent years, results of spending on travel abroad are consistent with the 4% growth to 1.2 billion international tourist arrivals reported earlier this year for 2016. People continue to have a strong appetite for travel and this benefits many countries all around the world, translating into economic growth, job creation and opportunities for development” said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai.
Chinese tourists spent 12% more on tourism abroad in 2016
2016 was another strong year for outbound tourism from China, the world’s leading outbound market. International tourism expenditure grew by US$ 11 billion to US$ 261 billion, an increase by 12% (in local currency). The number of outbound travellers rose 6% to 135 million in 2016. This growth consolidates China’s position as number one source market in the world since 2012, following a trend of double-digit growth in tourism expenditure every year since 2004.
The growth in outbound travel from China benefited many destinations in Asia and the Pacific, most notably Japan, the Republic of Korea and Thailand, but also long-haul destinations such as the United States and several in Europe.
Aside from China, three other Asian outbound markets among the first ten showed very positive results. The Republic of Korea (US$ 27 billion) and Australia (US$ 27 billion) both spent 8% more in 2016 and Hong Kong (China) entered the top 10 following 5% growth in expenditure (US$ 24 billion).