International Tourism Earned $1.5t in 2014

International Tourism Earned $1.5t in 2014International Tourism Earned $1.5t in 2014

International tourism generated a total of $1.5 trillion in export earnings in 2014, enabling the industry to significantly stimulate global economic growth and job generation.

Of this amount, $1.24 trillion represented receipts from international visitors spending on accommodation, food and drinks, entertainment, shopping and other services and goods, while the remaining $221 billion was generated from international passenger transport, data from the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) showed, Filipino news website Inquirer reported.

“International tourism is an increasingly significant component of international trade as seen in export earnings from international tourism and passenger transport, which reached $1.5 trillion in 2014,” noted UNWTO secretary general Taleb Rifai.

“In a scenario with decreasing commodity prices, spending on international tourism grew significantly in 2014, proving the sector’s capacity to stimulate economic growth, boost exports and create jobs,” he added.

According to UNWTO, international tourism (both travel and passenger transport) represented 30 percent of the world’s exports of services and 6 percent of overall exports of goods and services. As a worldwide export category, tourism ranked fourth after fuels, chemicals and food.

UNWTO data further showed that of the $1.24 trillion in international tourism receipts recorded in 2014, Europe accounted for the bulk at 41 percent or $509 billion, while the Asia-Pacific region cornered a 30 percent share at $377 billion. The Americas accounted for 22 percent of the tourism receipts at $274 billion; Middle East, 4 percent ($49 billion); and Africa, 3 percent ($36 billion).

By sub-region, Northern Europe, Southern and Mediterranean Europe, North-East Asia, Oceania, South Asia, Caribbean, Central America, South America and the Middle East showed fastest growth in relative terms, all recording 5 percent or more in terms of increases in tourism receipts.

Chinese tourists meanwhile remained the world’s top spender with total expenditures (outbound tourism) rising 28 percent to $165 million.

Second biggest spenders came from the United States, followed by Germany, United Kingdom, Russian Federation, France, Canada, Italy, Australia and Brazil.