International tourism revenue - Country rankings

International tourism revenue, 2020:.

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World tourism rankings by country: top 20 countries.

In this piece, we will take a look at world tourism rankings by country. If you want to skip our analysis of the tourism industry and recent trends, head on over to World Tourism Rankings by Country: Top 5 Countries .

Tourism is one of the key determinants of global economic health. And it's an industry that has grown alongside advances in air transportation that have enabled people to travel to far flung destinations while traveling at speeds of hundreds of kilometers per hour.

This industry is also among the few that were left completely devastated in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Estimates from the United Nations' World Tourism Organization (WTO) show that international travel shrunk by an absolutely stunning 72% in 2020 as lockdowns and stay at home orders led to the closure of hospitality establishments and restrictions on the number of people that could be crammed inside an enclosed space such as an airplane. The impact of the pandemic was so severe that even by the end of 2022, the industry had recovered to 65% of previous levels despite more than a year of near normalcy.

Yet, tourism is one of the biggest industries in the world. For instance, according to research from Industry Arc, the global travel and tourism industry is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.1% between 2021 and 2026 to be worth an estimated $8.9 trillion by the end of the forecast period. Another report from Allied Markets Research estimates that the business travel market was worth $696 billion in 2020 and will grow at a CAGR of 13.2% to sit at $2 trillion by 2028.

At the same time, business and leisure travel are not the only constituents industries of tourism. Two additional markets are adventure tourism and luxury travel. Estimates suggest that the former was worth $282 billion in 2021 and after growing at a CAGR of 15.1% is estimated to be worth $1 trillion in 2030. As far as luxury tourism is concerned, it was quite lucrative, being worth $1.28 trillion in 2022, and should have a CAGR of 7.6% to be worth $2.32 trillion in 2030.

Building on this, the next logical question to ask is which countries are the most popular for tourists and which are the most visited overall as well as in continents such as Europe and Asia. Well, on this front, data from the World Tourism Organization once again answer all our questions. Its World Tourism Barometer report for December 2020 (the latest version that is publicly available) shows that France was the most visited tourist destination in the world and in Europe in 2019. Broadening our approach to see which are the top ten most visited tourist countries in the world, we find out that after France, the list is dominated by Spain, the U.S., China, Italy, Turkey, Mexico, Thailand, Germany, and the United Kingdom. Astute readers will note that this also makes China as the most visited tourist destination in Asia. In terms of numbers, 83.5 million people visited Spain in 2019 - the second most popular tourist destination in Europe while China attracted 65.7 million people.

At this point, you might be wondering which is the most popular and most visited city in the world. Well, and perhaps unsurprisingly, just as France is the world's and Europe's most popular tourist destination, the most visited city in the world is its capital, Paris. This bit of information comes courtesy of Euromonitor International, which adds that in addition to Paris, some other popular cities for tourists are Dubai, Amsterdam, Madrid, Rome, and London. Crucially, Euromonitor's stats are for 2022, while the WTO's data shared above is from 2019, and these facts when taken together indicate that trends in the tourism industry tend to stay similar over the years - a crucial conclusion as you'll find out below.

China's role as the most popular tourist destination in Asia and a leading global economy merits a deeper look at what's in store for the country's tourist fortunes. China kick started 2023 by removing nearly all restrictions on travel and tourism, and after initially faltering, the pent up tourism demand roared back to life. Data compiled by McKinsey shows that visits to one of its most popular cities Shanghai nearly doubled to ten million visitors from the pre coronavirus 2019 peak. At the same time, China also has some of the biggest outbound tourism travelers in the world, and McKinsey estimates that pend up demand from these visitors as well carries with it a strong chance of injecting fresh vigor into the global tourism industry.

Finally, it's relevant to conclude our analysis of the global tourism industry by taking a look at what's happening on the ground. On this front, the management of Expedia Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: EXPE ) outlined during its first quarter of 2023 earnings call conference :

And I’m pleased to have started the year with strong performance. We posted our highest ever quarter for lodging gross bookings and free cash flow and our best first quarter for revenue. Throughout the quarter, we saw strong consumer demand with acceleration in international and big city travel and more of Asia reopening. The reemergence of major international cities has meant increased hotel demand, offset in part by flattening demand in vacation rentals as travel demand mix to urban destinations over extended beach and mountain trips. Similarly, air has continued to mix towards international travel and away from COVID era concentration in domestic. By and large, prices have held up quite well after several years of inflation. We’ve seen lodging ADRs hold fairly steady across geos. Air ticket prices, however, continued to increase as strong demand continues to outstrip capacity. The only area where we have seen any meaningful decline in average daily rate is in the car rental space where larger inventories have allowed rental companies to drive more volume at the expense of price. Overall, we are pleased to see broad travel demand remain strong in what appears to be a more structural post pandemic environment of people prioritizing travel above most other categories of spend. This has held up despite inflation and recession worries and even, more recently, bank system concerns. While economists continue to debate potential recession outcomes and clearly many unknowns are still out there, consumers have so far shaken it off and continue to travel.

With these details in mind, let's take a look at the world tourism rankings according to countries.

Pixabay/Public domain

Our Methodology

To compile our global tourism ranking by country, we used data from the 2020 version of the United Nations' World Tourism Barometer report. While it lists out international tourism receipts for 2019, this is actually helpful since 2019 was the last economically stable year for the global tourism industry which is still recovering. For our world tourism rankings, we have used international tourism receipts which is the amount spent by international visitors in a country. On a side note, both countries and special territories are included, since the spending is quite substantial.

World Tourism Rankings by Country

20. portuguese republic.

International Tourism Receipts: $20.6 billion

The Portuguese Republic is a Southwestern European country. It has a $257 billion economy and is famous for its Gothic architecture and diverse cuisine.

19. Republic of Korea

International Tourism Receipts: $21.6 billion 

The Republic of Korea, commonly known as South Korea is a technologically developed Asian country. South Korea is quite popular with visitors from China - with thousands flocking to the country each year.

18. United Arab Emirates

International Tourism Receipts: $21.8 billion 

The United Arab Emirates is not a surprising industry in our list of world tourism rankings. After all, its economic hub Dubai is one of the most highly visited cities in Asia.

17. Republic of Austria

International Tourism Receipts: $22.9 billion 

The Republic of Austria is a Central European landlocked country. Some of its most popular tourist destinations include its capital Vienna, known for the Schönbrunn Palace.

16. United Mexican States

International Tourism Receipts: $24.6 billion 

The United Mexican States, or Mexico, is a North American country. It is well known for historical tourism, being the birthplace of the Mayan civilization as well as beautiful beaches.

International Tourism Receipts: $28.0 billion 

Canada is a prosperous North American nation. Canada is best known for its Niagra Falls, which has been a popular tourist destination for more than a hundred years.

14. Hong Kong SAR

International Tourism Receipts: $29.0 billion 

Hong Kong is a special administrative region of the People's Republic of China. It is known for its vibrant nightlife, historic temples, and of course, Disneyland.

13. Republic of Türkiye

International Tourism Receipts: $29.8 billion

The Republic of Türkiye is an Asian and European nation. Its Istanbul International Airport is one of the busiest airports in the world.

12. Republic of India

International Tourism Receipts: $30.7 billion

The Republic of India is one of the biggest countries in the world and is full of iconic tourist destinations such as the Taj Mahal, the Ganges River, and more.

11. People's Republic of China

International Tourism Receipts: $35.8 billion

The People's Republic of China is the most populous nation in the world. It has a centuries old culture lending it iconic destinations such as the Great Wall of China.

10. Macao SAR

International Tourism Receipts: $40.1 billion

Macao is another special territory of China. It is best known for its vibrant casino and gaming industry.

9. Federal Republic of Germany

International Tourism Receipts: $41.6 billion

The Federal Republic of Germany is Europe's largest economy It is known for its beer festivals and winter markets, that is quite a spectacle.

8. Commonwealth of Australia

International Tourism Receipts: $45.7 billion

The Commonwealth of Australia is a prosperous Oceanic country. It is known for having the world's largest coral reef system, the Great Barrier Reef.

International Tourism Receipts: $46.1 billion

Like China, Japan is also a historic country full of ancient temples and a historic culture.

6. Italian Republic

International Tourism Receipts: $49.6 billion

Another unsurprising entry on our list is Italy. Known for its Roman culture and art galleries, it is one of the best destinations for cultural tourism.

Click to continue reading and see World Tourism Rankings by Country: Top 5 Countries .

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Disclosure: None.  World Tourism Rankings by Country is originally published on Insider Monkey.

These are the top 10 countries for travel and tourism

A plane flying across Miami Beach, United States.

The US retains its prime position in the World Economic Forum's latest Travel & Tourism Development Index. Image:  Unsplash/EveLazco

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  • Pent-up demand after the pandemic is expected to drive passenger numbers back up to pre-pandemic levels in 2024.
  • The recovery of the travel and tourism sector since the pandemic has been uneven, however, and some nations are better placed than others to respond to the challenges and opportunities of the future.
  • The top three best-placed countries for travel and tourism are the US, Spain and Japan, according to the World Economic Forum’s Travel & Tourism Development Index.

If you were desperate to get away after the restrictions and enforced staying at home of the pandemic years, you were far from alone.

Global international tourist arrivals are expected to meet pre-pandemic levels in 2024 driven by this pent-up demand. But, the recovery of the travel and tourism sector since the pandemic has not been without challenges. Add to that macroeconomic, geopolitical and environmental factors, which have added pressures on the industry.

These pressures will amplify and evolve over the coming years and, along with the growth of digital technologies and AI, may well force the travel industry to adapt.

Some economies are better placed than others to make these changes, respond to future risks and ensure that travel and tourism is a driver of economic growth and prosperity.

With this in mind, the World Economic Forum’s Travel & Tourism Development Index (TTDI) aims to serve as a benchmark for stakeholders to gauge progress, inform decisions and policies, and encourage sustainable and resilient growth.

A mixed recovery in challenging conditions

Europe dominates the top 10 economies for T&T, as ranked by the 2023 index, although the top spot is clinched by the US.

List showing the countries on the overall rankings in the Travel and Tourism Index.

But the index also shows that while 71 of the 119 economies it ranks improved their scores between 2019 and 2023, the average improvement is just 0.7% above pre-pandemic levels.

On the one hand, the rebound in travel and tourism has coincided with rising global air route capacity and connectivity, improved international openness, and increased investment in natural and cultural resources driving tourism. On the other hand, non-leisure demand is still lagging, there are ongoing labour shortages, and air route capacity and connectivity, capital investment and productivity have struggled to keep pace with demand.

This has created a supply and demand imbalance which, along with inflationary pressures, has led to reduced price competitiveness and service disruptions.

Charts showcasing the scores for Travel and Tourism Index.

Europe and Asia-Pacific have the most favourable conditions

Of the top 30 TTDI scorers in 2023, 26 are high-income countries. Nineteen of them are based in Europe, and seven in Asia Pacific.

These countries benefit from favourable business environments and labour markets, open travel policies, advanced technology adoption, excellent transport and tourism infrastructure, and rich natural, cultural and non-leisure attractions.

As a result, this group of 30 accounted for more than three-quarters of T&T industry GDP in 2022, and 70% of GDP growth between 2020 and 2022.

Map showcasing the scores for Travel and Tourism Index.

But although this group is leading the way, many of the above-average improvements in scores come from low- to upper-middle-income countries, including sub-Saharan and North Africa, Eurasia, South America, South Asia, and the Balkans and Eastern Europe.

While many have shown improvements, these less affluent countries still make up the vast majority of below-average scorers in the index. More investment is needed to help increase their share of the market and improve their readiness for future risks and opportunities.

Progress needed on resilience and equality

The ability of the travel and tourism sector to grow is limited by challenges like tight labour markets, growing fiscal constraints and concerns around health and security conditions. Labour market resilience will be an increasingly important factor for the sector, but issues like equality of job opportunities, workers’ rights and social protection are holding many economies – particularly low- and middle-income ones – back in this area.

As other sectors proceed to decarbonize, the aviation sector could account for a much higher share of global greenhouse gas emissions by mid-century than its 2%-3% share today.

Sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) can reduce the life-cycle carbon footprint of aviation fuel by up to 80%, but they currently make up less than 0.1% of total aviation fuel consumption. Enabling a shift from fossil fuels to SAFs will require a significant increase in production, which is a costly investment.

The Forum’s Clean Skies for Tomorrow (CST) Coalition is a global initiative driving the transition to sustainable aviation fuels as part of the aviation industry’s ambitious efforts to achieve carbon-neutral flying.

The coalition brings together government leaders, climate experts and CEOs from aviation, energy, finance and other sectors who agree on the urgent need to help the aviation industry reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The coalition aims to advance the commercial scale of viable production of sustainable low-carbon aviation fuels (bio and synthetic) for broad adoption in the industry by 2030. Initiatives include a mechanism for aggregating demand for carbon-neutral flying, a co-investment vehicle and geographically specific value-chain industry blueprints.

Learn more about the Clean Skies for Tomorrow Coalition's impact and contact us to find out how you can get involved.

Another major hurdle for the sector is balancing growth with sustainability. Although there has been broad progress in areas like energy sustainability, some progress – like the fall in emissions seen during the pandemic – is likely to only be temporary.

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World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License, and in accordance with our Terms of Use.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

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Global Tourism Statistics 2024:Facts and Forecasts

Home » Blog » Global Tourism Statistics 2024:Facts and Forecasts

After the massive hit of the COVID-19 pandemic, global tourism’s future and trends tend to move towards an upward shift. This paradigm shift has a gigantic impact on tourism and related activities. So, we will delve more into Global Tourism Statistics 2024:Facts and Forecasts today.

There was a subsequent rise in GDP after the COVID-19 pandemic period . Statista predicted in 2022 that the tourism industry will get back on track as tourists tend to be inbound and outbound from place to place.

Table of contents

Global tourism analysis, global tourism statistics 2019, global tourism statistics 2020, global tourism statistics 2021, global tourism statistics 2022, global tourism statistics 2023, global tourism statistics 2024 | predictive analysis, international tourist arrivals in 2024.

  • Global Tourism Contributions to GDP 2024

Global Tourism Growth Rate 2024

Global tourism revenue growth rate 2024.

The tourism industry and activities started to flourish after the pandemic. The number started to rise again. Global Tourism Statistics predicted that the travel and tourism business will experience 18% growth in 2024.

This is the highest point after the pandemic period. Hotel bookings, travel, and tourism businesses are expected to reach new heights. Experts suggest it’s the best time to start your own travel agency business.

  • International tourist arrivals worldwide were around 95,000 at the beginning of 2019.
  • The growth rate of tourist arrivals was slower.
  • Nearly $1.9 trillion was spent by tourists in 2019.
  • Travel receipts were around $9.3 billion in 2019.

Global Tourism was about $8.9 trillion in 2019 . Tourists love to explore beautiful countries. And popular destinations. France tends to hold the Number 1 position in 2019 as more than 90 million tourists visit the country.

Global Tourism Statistics 2024:Facts and Forecasts: top 5 visited countries in 2019: WP Travel:wptravel.io

(Top 5 visited countries 2019)

Moreover, 2019 tourism was slightly disturbed by covid 19 from July. However, there were many popular destinations loved by tourists worldwide. 

In 2019, the total spending on world tourism reached a peak of $1.86 trillion, showing a growth of 1.81% compared to the previous year. 

This indicates that people tend to spend more on travel and tourism activities, contributing to the overall tourism industry’s economic enhancement. 

The increase in spending suggests a continued interest and investment in tourism experiences on a global scale.

There was a massive decline in the travel and tourism industry in 2020. The tourism industry declined by more than 67% compared to the previous year . This makes one of the greatest downward shifts in the tourism industry ever recorded after subsequent time.

Pacific island Fiji tends to face an economic crisis because of a decline in tourist and tourism activities. Countries relying totally on tourism were more affected this year.

From January to May 2020. International tourist arrivals declined by more than 56% similarly in April it was recorded with a decline of 97%.

Global Tourism Statistics 2024:Facts and Forecasts: international tourist arrival 2019 vs 2022: WP Travel:wptravel.io

(Decline in international tourist arrivals 2019 vs 2022))

The limited movement of people from place to place results in a massive loss for the aviation industry as well. 

Air passenger was reduced by almost 60.2% compared to 2019 . This creates the worst conditions for the airline industry. Among many industries airline industry was one of the most impacted as there was a decline in tourist flow.

  • GDP of tourism ( 2.9 of GDP)  $624.7 billion was declined to $356.8 (1.7 of GDP) making it the greatest downfall of all time in tourism history.
  • Total number of visitors in 2020 was comparatively low compared with the past 10 years of data.
  • Tourism-dependent countries faced a major economic crisis.

Overall global tourism in 2020 didn’t grow that well the unpredictable circumstance has resulted in a massive decline in the GPD as well. There were approximately 1.5 billion tourist arrivals in 2019 and the number declined by more than 75% in 2020 the estimated tourist arrival in 2020 was around 381 million only. Compared with the 2019 tourist arrival the data fluctuation is very high.

The Tourism industry has gone through numerous uptrends and downtrends throughout the period. 2019 ended and 2020 was considered one of the most challenging years for the whole tourism industry. Regarding 2021 the tourism industry starts to rise at a minimal speed. 

In 2021 tourism industry start to gain speed at a minimal rate according to the popular data analytical site Statista. Global tourism worldwide increased by 4% in 2021 compared to 2020.

Matter of fact the international tourist arrival was 79% down compared with the 2019 tourist inbound data.

Recovering from the mass decline of 2020 the tourism industry started to increase with several 64.4% in 2021. The travel and tourism increment number in 2020 was only 50.7% 

Global Tourism Statistics 2024:Facts and Forecasts: international tourist arrival rate: WP Travel:wptravel.io

(Decline in international tourist arrivals)

In 2021, the US had 22.1 million inbound arrivals, which is a 15% increase from 2020 and a 72% decrease from 2019.

  • Overall increment in the tourism industry was recorded at more than 64.4 %
  • Export revenues from international tourism dropped 59%.
  • In 2021, the travel and tourism industry’s share of GDP increased from 1.54% in 2020 to 2.15% in 2021. 
  • Compared to 2019 the contribution of GDP was still down in 2021 ( 49.1% ) only.
  • Recovering from the pandemic travel and tourism businesses tend to increase by more than 362 billion dollars.

Regarding 2021 tourism status it has shown a little increment in terms of number compared with the 2020 data. The industry recorded a substantial 64.4% growth , surpassing the incremental rate in 2020.

Export revenues dropped by 59%, while the industry’s share of GDP improved from 1.54% in 2020 to 2.15% in 2021 . Despite signs of recovery, the sector has not reached its growth level in 2020.

Comparing the tourism condition with the year 2021 the number and data start to shift toward an upward curve. Analyzing the data deeply in 2022 total international tourism receipt reached the threshold of $1 trillion which is massive compared to the 2022 number.

However, the total receipts were still not able to reach the number of pre-pandemic. In 2022 more than 900 million tourists travel internationally. 

International tourist spending reached 64% of pre-pandemic levels. 2022 start to maintain sort of momentum to reach the peak point of travel and tourism activities.

Global Tourism Statistics 2024:Facts and Forecasts: Travel and tourism contribution over GDP from 2019 to 2022: WP Travel:wptravel.io

   (Travel and tourism contribution over GDP from 2019 to 2022 )

  • The total earned export revenue was still below the line ( 34 % ) below pre pre-pandemic level.
  • $7.7 trillion contribution to global GDP
  • Significant growth in spending of international visitors ( about 20.4% increment )
  • 2022 travel and tourism generated more than 22 million new jobs . Significantly high in number compared to 2021 data.

The travel and tourism sector ultimately makes a contribution of 7.7 trillion dollars to global gross domestic product ( GDP ). The number is shifting in an upward trend compared with other previous years. 

The 2022 travel and tourism activities maintained a pace of recovery mode. The industry maintained to level up from the previous year. As it intends to create more jobs and contribute more to the global economy and GDP.

All the dimensions of the tourism industry in 2022  start to evolve and grow over time. Ultimately the revenue received from tourists hit a whopping $1 trillion and more than 900 million people travel globally.

The travel industry solely created millions of jobs and contributed to overall economic growth.

Popular website for travel and tourism data stated that more than 975 million tourists were traveling internationally in the year 2023. Compared with 2021 and 2022 this year seems to be beneficial for travel and tourism industries.

In the first quarter of 2023, there is a spike in the growth of tourist arrivals. International tourist arrival reached 80% of pre-pandemic level. This states that the year 2023 is a sort of recovery year for the tourism industry. After years the industry was able to reach this point.

The travel and tourism industry somehow was able to reach progress similar to the year 2019. Travel bookings were up r oughly 31% at the end of March 2023 compared to the same time in 2019.

The travel and tourism health progress up to 87% in the year 2023. The USA tends to be a prime actor as it was able to accumulate more than $190.39 billion U.S. dollars.

Followed by the supreme country China and Canada.

China accumulated around $154.02 billion U.S. dollars followed by Canada which is $16 billion U.S. dollars.

The total gap between Canada and the USA is around $174.39 billion U.S. dollars respectively. In terms of numbers, these countries seem to do well in the tourism industry.

Global Tourism Statistics 2024:Facts and Forecasts; top 5 visited countries 2023 WP Travel:wptravel.io

  (Top 5 Visited Countries 2023 )

  • Over 975 million tourists traveled worldwide in 2023 ( Jan to Sep)
  • The total projected contribution of travel and tourism was around $2.2 trillion U.S. dollars toward global GDP.
  • The total international receipt projected in 2023 was around USD 1.4 trillion .
  • Compared with other years in 2023, there were more than 171 nights spent compared to 2022. 
  • Rise in tourist traveling rate results into increment in increment in hotel occupancy rate up to 10% higher compared to the previous year.

Airline industries also tend to bounce back as revenues reach more than   $803 billion , Comparatively it’s higher than 2022 as it reached around 9.7%.

Certain external factors do impact the travel business globally. The economic sanctions on Russia by different nations have resulted in delays in travel and tourism as well. Similarly, the zero COVID strategy promulgated by China has also affected the tourism industry overall.

The momentum of global tourism could potentially shift to an upward curve if all external factors don’t interrupt travel and tourism activities.

2024 is regarded as one of the important years for the travel and tourism sector. As the impact of COVID-19 started to overcome the travel and tourism business all across the world started to gain momentum throughout the time.

There are thorough predictions made for 2024 tourism. Multiple analyses tend to show potential opportunities for the tourism sector. From 2019 to 2023 the industry of tourism was scattered by COVID-19 after the interference of COVID-19 the cycle of 2024 tourism got into rollercoaster rides.

However, global tourism spending is predicted to reach $2 trillion in 2024 . After a long period, it’s predicted that international travel trips will exceed pre-pandemic levels in 2024, marking a 3% increase from 2019 .

The overall tourism market will get to a new level. The prediction is that the travel and tourism market will reach $927.30 billion in 2024 . Which is one of the big numbers compared to the previous year’s global tourism statistics.

After lot’s of ups and downs finally the travel and tourism industry is getting into momentum. It’s expected that tourist arrivals in 2024 will increase by 17.23% from the past year i.e. 2023. If the industry can meet the expectation there will be massive changes in the overall tourism business.

  • The expected international tourists is about 1.53 billion which is significantly large compared to the previous year.
  • the GDP contribution by tourism in 2024 will be 10.6%
  • Year-to-year growth in 2024 will be increased by a large number as expectation of over 17.24 % is made.
  • Ultimately the revenue will be around US 9.4 billion American dollars .

In 2024, the travel and tourism industry is on the rise after facing challenges. There’s a big anticipation of a 17.23% increase in tourist arrivals compared to 2023.

international tourist arrival in 2024 WP Travel:wptravel.io

  (International Tourist Arrival in 2024 )

If this expectation is met, it could bring significant positive changes to the overall tourism business.

The projected number of international tourists for 2024 is a substantial 1.53 billion, a noteworthy increase from the previous year.

The industry’s contribution to the global GDP in 2023 was 10.6%. Looking ahead, there’s an optimistic year-to-year growth forecast of over 17.24% in 2024.

In terms of revenue, the industry is expected to generate around US $9.4 billion . These promising figures indicate a strong recovery and growth for the travel and tourism sector in the coming year.

Global Tourism Contributions to GDP 2024

The travel and tourism industry is getting on track after facing challenges in recent years. For 2024, there is an optimistic growth outlook:

  • Tourist arrivals are expected to increase by 17.23% from 2023 . If this matches the expectations, it could bring major positive impacts for the overall tourism business.
  • International tourist projections sit at a substantial 1.53 billion for 2024, a significant jump from the previous year’s numbers.
  • The industry contributed 10.6% to global GDP in 2023.
  • For 2024, year-over-year growth forecasts are a promising 17.24%, indicating strong momentum.
  • In terms of revenue generation, the travel sector could reach around USD 9.4 billion.

2024 tourism contribution to GDP WP Travel:wptravel.io

  (2024 Global Tourism Contribution To GDP)

These numbers and projections point to a rapid recovery and expansion period for international and domestic travel over the coming year.

More people are expected to take vacations and business trips that could greatly benefit tour operators, hotels, airlines, and other travel entities after facing struggles not too long ago.

If the above expectations and forecasts are fulfilled, 2024 is shaping up to be a beneficial year for travel and tourism when looking at tourist arrivals, GDP contributions, growth percentages, and total revenue creation. There seems to be renewed optimism across the sector.

Overall ,the travel and tourism industry holds a positive growth approach in 2024 according to projections:

  • Global tourism saw significant declines in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, momentum picked back up in 2022.
  • For 2023, the estimated growth rate in global tourism is between 30% to 35% as the industry rebounds.
  • Looking ahead to 2024 , the global tourism growth rate is forecasted to be around 34.7%.
  • This would represent a noticeable jump from the expected 30-35% growth in 2023 showing sustained positive momentum.
  • If 2024 hits the projected 34.7% in tourism growth , it would take global travel significantly above 2019 volumes indicating a full industry comeback has been achieved.
  • This global growth also implies strong performance in major tourism markets across different regions like Europe, Asia Pacific, the Americas, the Middle East, and Africa.

tourism growth rate in 2024 WP Travel:wptravel.io

  (Global Tourism Growth Rate 2024)

Ultimately, 2024 is setting up to be another very high growth year for travel globally with expectations of over one-third increase in tourism versus 2023 numbers.

So, we suggest that travel business owners be ready to create travel booking websites and generate revenue and growth substantially with huge scope.

All signals point to a sector that has recovered to pre-pandemic strength and managed to undo the large drops observed in 2020 and 2021.

International tourist arrivals are projected to reach 1.53 billion, representing a substantial recovery with an expected year-over-year growth of 17.24% from the 975 million arrivals in 2023.

After facing major challenges in 2020 and 2021, the tourism industry is all set for substantial revenue growth in 2024:

  • Global tourism revenue saw a major decline of nearly 50% at the peak of the pandemic. This significantly impacted many travel businesses and destinations.
  • A rebound is already underway in 2022 and is expected to continue accelerating through 2023 with an estimated 30-35% growth rate .
  • For 2024, global tourism revenues are forecasted to grow around 34.7% year-over-year.
  • Gaining a 34.7% revenue growth target would indicate tourism has fully recovered from the pandemic demand shock and is expanding rapidly again.

global tourism revenue Statistics in 2024 WP Travel:wptravel.io

  (Global Tourism Revenue Growth 2024)

If achieved, 2024 would likely represent the highest-ever revenues for the tourism industry globally surpassing pre-pandemic levels.

The projections for a nearly 35% boost in tourism revenues globally paint an extremely optimistic picture of what lies ahead for the sector in 2024 as demand swells.

This rapid growth trajectory beyond 2023 forecasts shows tourism maintaining great momentum as a key recovery success story among industries worldwide.

➤ Here is the complete list of tour operator software.

The overview for tourism in 2024 is highly positive across expected metrics. International tourist arrivals are forecasted to hit 1.5 billion, representing a rapid 17.23% increase from 2023’s estimates, elevating volumes well beyond pre-pandemic levels.

The sector’s contribution to global GDP, which recorded 10.6% in 2023, is also expected to rise considerably in 2024, reflecting its full rise in economic impact. Most notably, tourism revenues could grow up to 34.7% year-over-year, reaching around $9.4 billion globally .

This Global Tourism Statistics 2024:Facts and Forecasts would be the highest growth rate realized since before the COVID-19 downturn,, these projections point to 2024 being a standout year as the industry looks positively to completely negate pandemic losses and reach new historical highs across metrics like tourist arrivals, revenues, and GDP.

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Reimagining the $9 trillion tourism economy—what will it take?

Tourism made up 10 percent of global GDP in 2019 and was worth almost $9 trillion, 1 See “Economic impact reports,” World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), wttc.org. making the sector nearly three times larger than agriculture. However, the tourism value chain of suppliers and intermediaries has always been fragmented, with limited coordination among the small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) that make up a large portion of the sector. Governments have generally played a limited role in the industry, with partial oversight and light-touch management.

COVID-19 has caused an unprecedented crisis for the tourism industry. International tourist arrivals are projected to plunge by 60 to 80 percent in 2020, and tourism spending is not likely to return to precrisis levels until 2024. This puts as many as 120 million jobs at risk. 2 “International tourist numbers could fall 60-80% in 2020, UNWTO reports,” World Tourism Organization, May 7, 2020, unwto.org.

Reopening tourism-related businesses and managing their recovery in a way that is safe, attractive for tourists, and economically viable will require coordination at a level not seen before. The public sector may be best placed to oversee this process in the context of the fragmented SME ecosystem, large state-owned enterprises controlling entry points, and the increasing impact of health-related agencies. As borders start reopening and interest in leisure rebounds in some regions , governments could take the opportunity to rethink their role within tourism, thereby potentially both assisting in the sector’s recovery and strengthening it in the long term.

In this article, we suggest four ways in which governments can reimagine their role in the tourism sector in the context of COVID-19.

1. Streamlining public–private interfaces through a tourism nerve center

Before COVID-19, most tourism ministries and authorities focused on destination marketing, industry promotions, and research. Many are now dealing with a raft of new regulations, stimulus programs, and protocols. They are also dealing with uncertainty around demand forecasting, and the decisions they make around which assets—such as airports—to reopen will have a major impact on the safety of tourists and sector employees.

Coordination between the public and private sectors in tourism was already complex prior to COVID-19. In the United Kingdom, for example, tourism falls within the remit of two departments—the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS)—which interact with other government agencies and the private sector at several points. Complex coordination structures often make clarity and consistency difficult. These issues are exacerbated by the degree of coordination that will be required by the tourism sector in the aftermath of the crisis, both across government agencies (for example, between the ministries responsible for transport, tourism, and health), and between the government and private-sector players (such as for implementing protocols, syncing financial aid, and reopening assets).

Concentrating crucial leadership into a central nerve center  is a crisis management response many organizations have deployed in similar situations. Tourism nerve centers, which bring together public, private, and semi-private players into project teams to address five themes, could provide an active collaboration framework that is particularly suited to the diverse stakeholders within the tourism sector (Exhibit 1).

We analyzed stimulus packages across 24 economies, 3 Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Canada, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Kenya, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, and the United Kingdom. which totaled nearly $100 billion in funds dedicated directly to the tourism sector, and close to $300 billion including cross-sector packages with a heavy tourism footprint. This stimulus was generally provided by multiple entities and government departments, and few countries had a single integrated view on beneficiaries and losers. We conducted surveys on how effective the public-sector response has been and found that two-thirds of tourism players were either unaware of the measures taken by government or felt they did not have sufficient impact. Given uncertainty about the timing and speed of the tourism recovery, obtaining quick feedback and redeploying funds will be critical to ensuring that stimulus packages have maximum impact.

2. Experimenting with new financing mechanisms

Most of the $100 billion stimulus that we analyzed was structured as grants, debt relief, and aid to SMEs and airlines. New Zealand has offered an NZ $15,000 (US $10,000) grant per SME to cover wages, for example, while Singapore has instituted an 8 percent cash grant on the gross monthly wages of local employees. Japan has waived the debt of small companies where income dropped more than 20 percent. In Germany, companies can use state-sponsored work-sharing schemes for up to six months, and the government provides an income replacement rate of 60 percent.

Our forecasts indicate that it will take four to seven years for tourism demand to return to 2019 levels, which means that overcapacity will be the new normal in the medium term. This prolonged period of low demand means that the way tourism is financed needs to change. The aforementioned types of policies are expensive and will be difficult for governments to sustain over multiple years. They also might not go far enough. A recent Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) survey of SMEs in the tourism sector suggested more than half would not survive the next few months, and the failure of businesses on anything like this scale would put the recovery far behind even the most conservative forecasts. 4 See Tourism policy responses to the coronavirus (COVID-19), OECD, June 2020, oecd.org. Governments and the private sector should be investigating new, innovative financing measures.

Revenue-pooling structures for hotels

One option would be the creation of revenue-pooling structures, which could help asset owners and operators, especially SMEs, to manage variable costs and losses moving forward. Hotels competing for the same segment in the same district, such as a beach strip, could have an incentive to pool revenues and losses while operating at reduced capacity. Instead of having all hotels operating at 20 to 40 percent occupancy, a subset of hotels could operate at a higher occupancy rate and share the revenue with the remainder. This would allow hotels to optimize variable costs and reduce the need for government stimulus. Non-operating hotels could channel stimulus funds into refurbishments or other investment, which would boost the destination’s attractiveness. Governments will need to be the intermediary between businesses through auditing or escrow accounts in this model.

Joint equity funds for small and medium-size enterprises

Government-backed equity funds could also be used to deploy private capital to help ensure that tourism-related SMEs survive the crisis (Exhibit 2). This principle underpins the European Commission’s temporary framework for recapitalization of state-aided enterprises, which provided an estimated €1.9 trillion in aid to the EU economy between March and May 2020. 5 See “State aid: Commission expands temporary framework to recapitalisation and subordinated debt measures to further support the economy in the context of the coronavirus outbreak,” European Commission, May 8, 2020, ec.europa.eu. Applying such a mechanism to SMEs would require creating an appropriate equity-holding structure, or securitizing equity stakes in multiple SMEs at once, reducing the overall risk profile for the investor. In addition, developing a standardized valuation methodology would avoid lengthy due diligence processes on each asset. Governments that do not have the resources to co-invest could limit their role to setting up those structures and opening them to potential private investors.

3. Ensuring transparent, consistent communication on protocols

The return of tourism demand requires that travelers and tourism-sector employees feel—and are—safe. Although international organizations such as the International Air Transport Association (IATA), and the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) have developed a set of guidelines to serve as a baseline, local regulators are layering additional measures on top. This leads to low levels of harmonization regarding regulations imposed by local governments.

Our surveys of traveler confidence in the United States  suggests anxiety remains high, and authorities and destination managers must work to ensure travelers know about, and feel reassured by, protocols put in place for their protection. Our latest survey of traveler sentiment in China  suggests a significant gap between how confident travelers would like to feel and how confident they actually feel; actual confidence in safety is much lower than the expected level asked a month before.

One reason for this low level of confidence is confusion over the safety measures that are currently in place. Communication is therefore key to bolstering demand. Experience in Europe indicates that prompt, transparent, consistent communications from public agencies have had a similar impact on traveler demand as CEO announcements have on stock prices. Clear, credible announcements regarding the removal of travel restrictions have already led to increased air-travel searches and bookings. In the week that governments announced the removal of travel bans to a number of European summer destinations, for example, outbound air travel web search volumes recently exceeded precrisis levels by more than 20 percent in some countries.

The case of Greece helps illustrate the importance of clear and consistent communication. Greece was one of the first EU countries to announce the date of, and conditions and protocols for, border reopening. Since that announcement, Greece’s disease incidence has remained steady and there have been no changes to the announced protocols. The result: our joint research with trivago shows that Greece is now among the top five summer destinations for German travelers for the first time. In July and August, Greece will reach inbound airline ticketing levels that are approximately 50 percent of that achieved in the same period last year. This exceeds the rate in most other European summer destinations, including Croatia (35 percent), Portugal (around 30 percent), and Spain (around 40 percent). 6 Based on IATA Air Travel Pulse by McKinsey. In contrast, some destinations that have had inconsistent communications around the time frame of reopening have shown net cancellations of flights for June and July. Even for the high seasons toward the end of the year, inbound air travel ticketing barely reaches 30 percent of 2019 volumes.

Digital solutions can be an effective tool to bridge communication and to create consistency on protocols between governments and the private sector. In China, the health QR code system, which reflects past travel history and contact with infected people, is being widely used during the reopening stage. Travelers have to show their green, government-issued QR code before entering airports, hotels, and attractions. The code is also required for preflight check-in and, at certain destination airports, after landing.

4. Enabling a digital and analytics transformation within the tourism sector

Data sources and forecasts have shifted, and proliferated, in the crisis. Last year’s demand prediction models are no longer relevant, leaving many destinations struggling to understand how demand will evolve, and therefore how to manage supply. Uncertainty over the speed and shape of the recovery means that segmentation and marketing budgets, historically reassessed every few years, now need to be updated every few months. The tourism sector needs to undergo an analytics transformation to enable the coordination of marketing budgets, sector promotions, and calendars of events, and to ensure that products are marketed to the right population segment at the right time.

Governments have an opportunity to reimagine their roles in providing data infrastructure and capabilities to the tourism sector, and to investigate new and innovative operating models. This was already underway in some destinations before COVID-19. Singapore, for example, made heavy investments in its data and analytics stack over the past decade through the Singapore Tourism Analytics Network (STAN), which provided tourism players with visitor arrival statistics, passenger profiling, spending data, revenue data, and extensive customer-experience surveys. During the COVID-19 pandemic, real-time data on leading travel indicators and “nowcasts” (forecasts for the coming weeks and months) could be invaluable to inform the decisions of both public-sector and private-sector entities.

This analytics transformation will also help to address the digital gap that was evident in tourism even before the crisis. Digital services are vital for travelers: in 2019, more than 40 percent of US travelers used mobile devices to book their trips. 7 Global Digital Traveler Research 2019, Travelport, marketing.cloud.travelport.com; “Mobile travel trends 2019 in the words of industry experts,” blog entry by David MacHale, December 11, 2018, blog.digital.travelport.com. In Europe and the United States, as many as 60 percent of travel bookings are digital, and online travel agents can have a market share as high as 50 percent, particularly for smaller independent hotels. 8 Sean O’Neill, “Coronavirus upheaval prompts independent hotels to look at management company startups,” Skift, May 11, 2020, skift.com. COVID-19 is likely to accelerate the shift to digital as travelers look for flexibility and booking lead times shorten: more than 90 percent of recent trips in China  were booked within seven days of the trip itself. Many tourism businesses have struggled to keep pace with changing consumer preferences around digital. In particular, many tourism SMEs have not been fully able to integrate new digital capabilities in the way that larger businesses have, with barriers including language issues, and low levels of digital fluency. The commission rates on existing platforms, which range from 10 percent for larger hotel brands to 25 percent for independent hotels, also make it difficult for SMEs to compete in the digital space.

Governments are well-positioned to overcome the digital gap within the sector and to level the playing field for SMEs. The Tourism Exchange Australia (TXA) platform, which was created by the Australian government, is an example of enabling at scale. It acts as a matchmaker, connecting suppliers with distributors and intermediaries to create packages attractive to a specific segment of tourists, then uses tourist engagement to provide further analytical insights to travel intermediaries (Exhibit 3). This mechanism allows online travel agents to diversify their offerings by providing more experiences away from the beaten track, which both adds to Australia’s destination attractiveness, and gives small suppliers better access to customers.

Government-supported platforms or data lakes could allow the rapid creation of packages that include SME product and service offerings.

Governments that seize the opportunity to reimagine tourism operations and oversight will be well positioned to steer their national tourism industries safely into—and set them up to thrive within—the next normal.

Download the article in Arabic  (513KB)

Margaux Constantin is an associate partner in McKinsey’s Dubai office, Steve Saxon is a partner in the Shanghai office, and Jackey Yu  is an associate partner in the Hong Kong office.

The authors wish to thank Hugo Espirito Santo, Urs Binggeli, Jonathan Steinbach, Yassir Zouaoui, Rebecca Stone, and Ninan Chacko for their contributions to this article.

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Exports From International Tourism Hit USD 1.7 Trillion

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PR No. : PR 19042

Madrid (Spain), 6 June 2019 - Exports generated by international tourism reached USD 1.7 trillion in 2018, a 4% increase in real terms over the previous year, a new report from the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) shows. For the seventh year in a row, tourism exports grew faster than merchandise exports (+3%), reflecting solid demand for international travel in a generally robust economic environment.

Strong growth in outbound travel from many source markets around the world fuelled revenues from international tourism to reach a total USD 1.7 trillion. This accounts for 29% of global service exports and 7% of overall exports of goods and services. These figures consolidate international tourism among the top five economic sectors in the world, behind chemical manufacturing and the fuel industry but ahead of the food and automotive industries.

“Rather than growing in volume we need to grow in value. We are pleased to see that both emerging and advanced economies around the world are benefiting from rising tourism income,” said UNWTO Secretary-General, Zurab Pololikashvili. “Revenues from international tourism translate into jobs, entrepreneurship and a better situation for people and local economies, while reducing trade deficits in many countries” he added.

Total exports from international tourism include  USD 1,448 billion in international tourism receipts (visitor spending in destinations) and USD 256 billion in international passenger transport services. Tourism constitutes a key source of foreign exchange and a major tool for export diversification for many destinations.

International tourism receipts increased 4% in real terms (adjusting for exchange rate fluctuations and inflation) to reach USD 1,448 billion in 2018, about USD 100 billion more than the previous year. This is consistent with the 6% increase in international tourist arrivals in 2018.

By regions, Asia and the Pacific led the way with 7% growth in international tourism receipts, followed by Europe with a 5% increase. The Middle East saw 3% growth, while Africa (+1%) and the Americas (0%) recorded more modest results. Central and Eastern Europe and North-East Asia (both +9%) were the subregions with the strongest growth.

France and Russia lead growth among top spenders

Growth in receipts was fuelled by strong demand for international travel in the context of a robust global economy.

Among the world’s top ten source markets, France and the Russian Federation both recorded 11% growth in outbound spending in 2018, while Australia saw a 10% increase.

China, the world’s top spender reported USD 277 billion in international tourism expenditure in 2018, a 5% increase in real terms from a year earlier, while the United States, the second largest, spent 7% more, to reach USD 144 billion.

International expenditure from the United Kingdom grew 3% in 2018, and 4% from Italy, while Germany and the Republic of Korea both reported rather flat results. Further down the ranking, Spain enjoyed 12% higher spending on international tourism in 2018.

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List of Countries by Tourism Income

Below you can find a list of countries by total tourism income and ratio of tourism income by total GDP. You can also find an interactive map below where each country is colored by its tourism income. The ratio of tourism income to the total GDP gives a rough figure which economies are most dependent on tourism income.

  • United States of America has the highest total tourism income with over 210 billion $ yearly. This huge figure however is only 1.1% of the country's total GDP
  • Spain has the second largest tourism income in the World with almost 68 billion $ yearly, making up tourism 5.2% of the total economy.
  • Another Mediterranean country, France, is the third on the list with over 60 billion yearly tourism income.
  • It is no wonder that the popular holiday destination Maldives is the leader when it comes to share of tourism in the total GDP. 2.7 billion $ tourism income of Maldives makes up 60% of the country's total GDP.
  • Palau and Grenada, two island countries of Caribbeans, come second and third after Maldives. Palau with 141 million $ and Granada with 448 million $ obtain respectively 48% and 40% of their GDP by tourism.

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International travel plays a critical role in the US economy. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, in 2019, international visitors spent $233.5 billion experiencing the United States; injecting nearly $640 million a day into the U.S. economy. The U.S. travel and tourism industry generated $1.9 trillion in economic output; supporting 9.5 million American jobs and accounted for 2.9% of U.S. GDP. At 14.5% of international travel spending globally, international travelers spend more in the United States than any other country. As recovery efforts continue, the International Trade Administration actively supports the industry via the twin pillars of the National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO) and the U.S. Commercial Service . Working together, we provide a range of data and related products to support the international outreach and promotion efforts of U.S. destinations and attractions. With over 100 offices throughout the United States and in 75 countries around the world, we are where you are and where you want to be.

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Travel & Tourism Sector Now Worth More Than Quarter of a Trillion Sterling Says WTTC

international tourism net worth

Travel & Tourism back on its feet and set to exceed 2019 Over 1.1MN more Travel & Tourism jobs in the UK last year – 1 in 9 of all jobs International visitor spend up more than 300%  

London, UK: The World Travel & Tourism Council’s ( WTTC ) 2023 Economic Impact Research (EIR) today reveals the UK Travel & Tourism sector is forecast to exceed the 2019 peak this year. The sector is set to contribute £252.4BN to the UK economy this year, surpassing the 2019 pre-pandemic high of £248.5BN. WTTC is also forecasting that the sector will create almost 380,000 jobs this year, recovering almost all of the jobs lost due to the COVID 19 pandemic to reach more than 4MN, with around one in nine workers in the UK, in the Travel & Tourism sector. International visitor spend to the UK is forecast to reach £26.18BN, just 6% behind the 2019 peak of £38.6BN. A look back on last year Last year, the sector’s GDP contribution grew by 65% to reach more than £237BN, representing 9.5% of the economy, edging closer to the 2019 high of 9.9% of the economy. Last year the sector also created 1.1MN more jobs from the previous year to reach 3.6MN jobs nationally – one in 10 jobs across the UK. The sector has now recovered 1.5MN of the 1.7MN jobs lost during the pandemic. Last year also saw the return of international travellers heading to the UK with spending from overseas visitors growing over 300% from 2021 to reach almost £30BN. Domestic visitor spend fully recovered in 2022 to match the pre-pandemic high of £165BN, showing that whilst the UK has taken longer to attract high spending overseas visitors, the staycation is here to stay. Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO, said: “Travel & Tourism creates one in every ten jobs in the UK. It contributes over £250bn a year to the UK economy. “Whilst our forecasts show the sector will reach a quarter of a trillion pounds this year, and predicts international visitor spend will recover by early next year, the UK Government should be aiming higher. “The recovery and long-term growth of the sector is at risk with the self-axing of  VAT-free shopping for international tourists. We will continue to see high-value tourists choosing France and Italy over the UK and taking with them economic value and jobs.” What does the next decade look like? The global tourism body is forecasting that the sector will grow its GDP contribution to almost £315BN by 2033, nearly 11% of the UK economy and will employ over 5MN people across the country, with one in seven Brits working in the sector. Europe In 2022, the European Travel & Tourism sector contributed €1.9TN to the regional economy, just 7% below the 2019 peak. WTTC forecasts the region’s GDP contribution from the sector will reach more than €2TN in 2023 - within touching distance of the 2019 highpoint. The sector employed almost 35MN people across the region in 2022, an increase of 2.9MN from the previous year but still 3.2MN behind pre-pandemic levels. WTTC forecasts the sector will fully recover the jobs lost during the pandemic by the end of 2024. For more information, please visit WTTC Research Hub Download Press Release

international tourism net worth

New Report Shows How Travel & Tourism in Africa Could Boost Continent’s Economy by US$168BN Over the Next 10 Years

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  • Afghanistan
  • Aland Islands
  • American Samoa
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Bolivia, Plurinational State of
  • Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Bouvet Island
  • British Indian Ocean Territory
  • Brunei Darussalam
  • Burkina Faso
  • Cayman Islands
  • Central African Republic
  • Christmas Island
  • Cocos (Keeling) Islands
  • Congo, the Democratic Republic of the
  • Cook Islands
  • Cote d'Ivoire
  • Czech Republic
  • Dominican Republic
  • El Salvador
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Falkland Islands (Malvinas)
  • Faroe Islands
  • French Guiana
  • French Polynesia
  • French Southern Territories
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Heard Island and McDonald Islands
  • Holy See (Vatican City State)
  • Iran, Islamic Republic of
  • Isle of Man
  • Korea, Democratic People's Republic of
  • Korea, Republic of
  • Lao People's Democratic Republic
  • Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
  • Liechtenstein
  • Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of
  • Moldova, Republic of
  • Netherlands
  • New Caledonia
  • New Zealand
  • Norfolk Island
  • Palestinian Territory, Occupied
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Philippines
  • Russian Federation
  • Saint Barthélemy
  • Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Martin (French part)
  • Saint Pierre and Miquelon
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Sao Tome and Principe
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Sierra Leone
  • Sint Maarten (Dutch part)
  • Solomon Islands
  • South Africa
  • South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
  • South Sudan
  • Svalbard and Jan Mayen
  • Switzerland
  • Syrian Arab Republic
  • Tanzania, United Republic of
  • Timor-Leste
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Turkmenistan
  • Turks and Caicos Islands
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of
  • Virgin Islands, British
  • Wallis and Futuna
  • Western Sahara

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Tourism Teacher

What is international tourism and why is it important?

Disclaimer: Some posts on Tourism Teacher may contain affiliate links. If you appreciate this content, you can show your support by making a purchase through these links or by buying me a coffee . Thank you for your support!

The International tourism industry is stronger than ever before. Destinations around the world have developed their economies around international tourism and they are thriving (minus the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, but I am confident that tourism will return so I am going to put that to one side for now). But what does it all mean?

In this article I am going to introduce you to the exciting world of international tourism- the industry that I have lived and breathed for so many years. The industry that I love. So here goes…

What is international tourism?

International tourism definitions, foreign exchange earnings, contribution to government revenues, employment generation, contribution to local economies, overall economy boost, preserving local culture, strengthening communities, provision of social services, commercialisation of culture and art, revitalisation of culture and art, preservation of heritage, empowering communities, protecting nature, international tourism statistics, international tourism: conclusion, further reading.

Tourism is the generic term used to cover both demand and supply that has been adopted in a variety of forms and used throughout the world.

International tourism essentially refers to the activities undertaken by visitors, also known as the visitor economy. The tourism industry encompasses all activity that takes place within the visitor economy.

This includes activities that are directly related to the tourist, such as staying in a hotel, ordering a meal or visiting a tourist attraction. It also includes indirect activities, such as the transport company which delivers the food to the restaurant in which the tourist eats or the laundry company that has a contract with the hotel for cleaning bed sheets.

It is largely due to the indirect contributions to tourism, that defining and measuring the tourism industry is so difficult!

Tourism is a phenomenon with no universally accepted definition, owing to the complexity and individualism of the travellers themselves and the activities that they choose to undertake.

The most widely utilised definition of tourism, proposed by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and United States (UN) Nations Statistics Division (1994), prescribes that in order to qualify as a tourist one must travel and remain in a place outside of their usual residential environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business or other purposes.

Matheison and Wall (1982) on the other hand, do not impose a timeframe, simply stating that one must travel to a destination temporarily.

Leiper (1979) believed that defining tourism is more complex than this, proposing that there are three approaches that can be taken. The economic stance focuses on tourism as a business, the technical stance focusses on the tourist in order to provide a common basis by which to collect data and the holistic stance attempts to include the entire essence of the subject.

The Cambridge Dictionary define tourism quite simply as; ‘the business of providing services such as transport, places to stay or entertainment for people who are on holiday’.

As there is no universal definition for the term ‘international tourism’, for the purposes of this article I will define it as follows:

‘International tourism is the act of travelling to another country other than where you live for no more than one year for purposes of leisure or business’.

Why is international tourism important?

International tourism is hugely important. There are a number of key reasons for this that I will outline below.

Value to the economy

International tourism can help economies to bring in money in a number of different ways. Below I have provided some examples of the positive economic impacts of tourism .

The importance of international tourism is demonstrated through foreign exchange earnings. 

Tourism expenditures generate income to the host economy. The money that the country makes from tourism can then be reinvested in the economy.

How a destination manages their finances differs around the world; some destinations may spend this money on growing their tourism industry further, some may spend this money on public services such as education or healthcare and some destinations suffer extreme corruption so nobody really knows where the money ends up!

Some currencies are worth more than others and so some countries will target tourists from particular areas. Currencies that are strong are generally the most desirable currencies. This typically includes the British Pound, American, Australian and Singapore Dollar and the Euro . 

Tourism is one of the top five export categories for as many as 83% of countries and is a main source of foreign exchange earnings for at least 38% of countries.

The importance of international tourism is also demonstrated through the money that is raised and contributed to government revenues. Tourism can help to raise money that it then invested elsewhere by the Government. There are two main ways that this money is accumulated. 

Direct contributions  are generated by taxes on incomes from tourism employment and tourism businesses and things such as departure taxes. 

According to the World Tourism Organisation, the direct contribution of Travel & Tourism to GDP in 2018 was $2,750.7billion (3.2% of GDP). This is forecast to rise by 3.6% to $2,849.2billion in 2019.

Indirect contributions  come from goods and services supplied to tourists which are not directly related to the tourism industry. 

There is also the income that is generated through  induced contributions . This accounts for money spent by the people who are employed in the tourism industry. This might include costs for housing, food, clothing and leisure Activities amongst others. This will all contribute to an increase in economic activity in the area where tourism is being developed. 

The importance of international tourism can be demonstrated through employment generation.

The rapid expansion of international tourism has led to significant employment creation. From hotel managers to theme park operatives to cleaners, tourism creates many employment opportunities. Tourism supports some 7% of the world’s workers. 

There are two types of employment in the tourism industry: direct and indirect. 

Direct employment  includes jobs that are immediately associated with the tourism industry. This might include hotel staff, restaurant staff or taxi drivers, to name a few.

Indirect employment includes jobs which are not technically based in the tourism industry, but are related to the tourism industry.

It is because of these indirect relationships, that it is very difficult to accurately measure the precise economic value of tourism, and some suggest that the actual economic benefits of tourism may be as high as double that of the recorded figures!

The importance of international tourism can be further seen through the contributions to local economies.

All of the money raised, whether through formal or informal means, has the potential to contribute to the local economy. 

If  sustainable tourism  is demonstrated, money will be directed to areas that will benefit the local community most. There may be pro-poor tourism initiatives (tourism which is intended to help the poor) or  volunteer tourism  projects. The government may reinvest money towards public services and money earned by tourism employees will be spent in the local community. This is known as the multiplier effect. 

International tourism boosts the economy exponentially.

This is partly because of the aforementioned jobs that tourism creates, but also because of the temporary addition to the consumer population that occurs when someone travels to a new place.

Just think: when you travel, you’re spending money. You’re paying to stay in a hotel or hostel in a certain area – then you’re eating in local restaurants, using local public transport, buying souvenirs and ice cream and new flip flops. As a tourist, you are contributing to the global economy every time you book and take a trip.

For some towns, cities and even whole countries, the importance of international tourism is greater than for others. In some cases, it is the main source of income.

For example, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council, tourism accounts for almost 40% of the Maldives’ total GDP. In comparison, it’s less than 4% in the UK and even lower in the US! In the Seychelles the number is just over 26% while in the British Virgin Islands it is over 35% – so tourism is vastly important in these nations.

Other posts that you might be interested in: – What is tourism? A definition of tourism – The history of tourism – The structure of the tourism industry – Stakeholders in tourism – Inbound tourism explained: What, why and where – What is ABTA and how does it work? – Outbound tourism | Understanding the basics

Value to society

The importance of international tourism is not only recognised through economic factors, but there are also many positive social impacts of tourism that play an important part. Below I will outline some of the social gains from tourism.

It is the local culture that the tourists are often coming to visit and this is another way to demonstrate the importance of international tourism.

Tourists visit Beijing to learn more about the Chinese Dynasties. Tourists visit Thailand to taste authentic Thai food. Tourists travel to Brazil to go to the Rio Carnival, to mention a few…

Many destinations will make a conserved effort to preserve and protect the local culture. This often contributes to the conservation and  sustainable management  of natural resources, the protection of local heritage, and a renaissance of indigenous cultures, cultural arts and crafts. 

The importance of international tourism can also be demonstrated through the strengthening of communities.

Events and festivals of which local residents have been the primary participants and spectators are often rejuvenated and developed in response to tourist interest.

The jobs created by international tourism can also be a great boost for the local community. Aside from the  economic impacts  created by enhanced employment prospects, people with jobs are happier and more social than those without a disposable income. 

Local people can also increase their influence on tourism development, as well as improve their job and earnings prospects, through tourism-related professional training and development of business and organisational skills.

The importance of international tourism is shown through the provision of social services in the host community.

The international tourism industry requires many facilities/ infrastructure to meet the needs of the tourist. This often means that many developments in an area as a result of tourism will be available for use by the locals also. 

Local people often gained new roads, new sewage systems, new playgrounds, bus services etc as a result of tourism. This can provide a great boost to their quality of life and is a great example of a positive social impact of tourism. 

International tourism can see rise to many commercial business, which can be a positive social impact of tourism. This helps to enhance the community spirit as people tend to have more disposable income as a result. 

These businesses may also promote the local cultures and arts. Museums, shows and galleries are fantastic way to showcase the local customs and traditions of a destination. This can help to promote/ preserve local traditions.

Some destinations will encourage local cultures and arts to be revitalised. This may be in the form of museum exhibitions, in the way that restaurants and shops are decorated and in the entertainment on offer, for example. 

This may help promote traditions that may have become distant. 

Another reason for the importance of international tourism is the preservation of heritage. Many tourists will visit the destination especially to see its local heritage. It is for this reason that many destinations will make every effort to preserve its heritage. 

This could include putting restrictions in place or limiting tourist numbers, if necessary. This is often an example of careful  tourism planning  and sustainable tourism management. 

International tourism can, if managed well, empower communities. While it is important to consider the authenticity in tourism and take some things with a pinch of salt, know that tourism can empower communities.

Small villages in far off lands are able to profit from selling their handmade goods. This, in turn, puts food on the table. This leads to healthier families and more productivity and a happier population .

Value to the environment

Whilst most media coverage involving international tourism and the environment tends to be negative, there are some positives that can come from it: demonstrating the importance of tourism once again.

Some people think that international tourism is what kills nature. And while this could so easily be true, it is important to note that the tourism industry is and always has been a big voice when it comes to conservation and the protection of animals and nature. Tourism organisations and travel operators often run (and donate to) fundraisers. 

As well as this, visitors to certain areas can take part in activities that aim to sustain the local scenery. It’s something a bit different, too! You and your family can go on a beach clean up walk in Spain or do something similar in the UAE . There are a lot of ways in which tourism actually helps the environment, rather than hindering it!

Tourism brings with it huge economic potential for a destination that wishes to develop their tourism industry. Employment, currency exchange, imports and taxes are just a few of the ways that tourism can bring money into a destination.

In recent years, tourism numbers have increased globally at exponential rates, as shown in the World Tourism Organisation data below. There are a number of reasons for this growth including improvements in technology, increases in disposable income, the growth of budget airlines and consumer desires to travel further, to new destinations and more often.

Here are a few statistics providing by the UN and Statistica:

Inbound tourism

Here are a few facts about the economic importance of the tourism industry globally:

  • The tourism economy represents 5 percent of world GDP
  • Tourism contributes to 6-7 percent of total employment
  • International tourism ranks fourth (after fuels, chemicals and automotive products) in global exports
  • The tourism industry is valued at US$1trillion a year
  • Tourism accounts for 30 percent of the world’s exports of commercial services
  • Tourism accounts for 6 percent of total exports
  • 1.4billion international tourists were recorded in 2018 (UNWTO)
  • In over 150 countries, tourism is one of five top export earners
  • Tourism is the main source of foreign exchange for one-third of developing countries and one-half of less economically developed countries (LEDCs)

There is a wealth of data about the economic value of tourism worldwide, with lots of handy graphs and charts in the United Nations Economic Impact Report .

International tourism is arguably the largest industry in the world. There are many benefits of international tourism to local economies as well as society and the environment. The many components of tourism that make up the industry are integral to livelihoods the world over.

  • An Introduction to Tourism : a comprehensive and authoritative introduction to all facets of tourism including: the history of tourism; factors influencing the tourism industry; tourism in developing countries; sustainable tourism; forecasting future trends.
  • The Business of Tourism Management : an introduction to key aspects of tourism, and to the practice of managing a tourism business.
  • Tourism Management: An Introduction : gives its reader a strong understanding of the dimensions of tourism, the industries of which it is comprised, the issues that affect its success, and the management of its impact on destination economies, environments and communities.

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Tourist hot spots from Venice to a town near Mount Fuji are taking drastic measures to cope with overtourism

  • A barrier has been erected at a popular Instagram spot in Fujikawaguchiko to curb overtourism.
  • Locals complained that tourists had caused disruptions, including overcrowding and traffic issues.
  • Other popular spots like Venice and a small Swiss alpine town are considering or trialing tourist fees.

Insider Today

Overtourism has been affecting cities, towns, and picturesque spots worldwide, and some local officials are starting to take measures to stop it.

In Venice, a tourist fee is being trialed to curb the problem, and other cities are beginning to take note. Residents in a village on Menorca, an island off Spain, have imposed restrictions on visiting hours for tourists and even threatened to cut tourist access to the village altogether, per The Guardian .

This week, a large mesh barrier was erected in Fujikawaguchiko , a town in Japan with a view of Mount Fuji that has become a popular spot to snap the country's largest peak. The plans were drawn up as locals began complaining of hoards of badly behaved tourists coming to the area.

"It's regrettable we have to do this, because of some tourists who can't respect rules," a town official told Agence France-Presse .

The official told the outlet that tourists had caused disruption to the local area, including overcrowding the area, leaving behind trash, and ignoring traffic regulations.

Tourists are flocking to a specific spot near a Lawson convenience store.

The spot was seen as "very Japanese," the official explained, as the convenience store is unique to Japan and has a view of Mount Fuji right behind it.

"Social media has a big part to play in this restriction, and we're seeing an increase in this kind of social-driven, hyper-local overtourism," Huw Owen, cofounder of tailor-made holiday platform TravelLocal, which offers trips to Japan, said in a statement shared with Business Insider.

"This is essentially where tourists flock to a specific location to get the perfect shot for their social channels and, unfortunately, in some cases, act irresponsibly and without respect for the local community and environment," he added.

But Fujikawaguchiko isn't the only place that's putting measures in place to combat overtourism.

A tourist fee is being trialed in Venice

Over in Venice, a controversial tourist fee has been implemented. Officials in the Italian city launched a trial 5 euro fee — about $5.40 — for day-trippers during its peak travel season.

Related stories

The fee will apply on 29 peak days between April and July. Locals and people staying overnight in hotels don't need to pay the fee to enter the ticketed area, but they still need to book online, which has been a point of contention.

Even though the fee is meant to make the city more liveable for residents, many are unhappy about it.

Some locals protested, holding banners saying: "No to ticket, yes to houses and services for all," and others even clashed with police, CNN reported.

Some said that the fee is too small to deter the crowds and that it violated the principle of freedom of movement.

A picturesque tourist town in Switzerland is also considering a tourist fee

Lauterbrunnen, a picturesque mountain town in the Swiss Alps, has also become a tourist hot spot.

But the influx of tourists has meant that the population of just 2,400 has to face congested roads and public transport, higher rents, and increased pollution, Euro News reported.

To cope, the mayor is considering introducing a fee of between 5 and 10 Swiss Franc ($5.50 to $11) for visitors arriving by car, the outlet added, citing Swiss publication Berner Zeitung.

"The exception would be guests who have booked an offer such as a hotel or an excursion or who arrive by public transport," the mayor, Karl Näpflin said, per Swiss Info .

The Mayor of Como is also considering a tourist fee

Lake Como has been going viral on TikTok, with tourists sharing videos of the packed trains heading to the lake.

One TikTok has racked up 3.3 million views, showing a packed train heading to Lake Como. While the person who posted the video said in that caption that it was "totally worth it," people in the comments had other ideas.

"Imagine me, a local, taking that train everyday to go to uni and come back home it's a NIGHTMARE," one user commented.

Another TikTok with 5.3 million views showed a similar phenomenon. In the video, people are seen spilling off the train platform and sitting on the side of the train tracks while waiting for the train from Varenna (Lake Como) to Milan.

The city's mayor, Alessandro Rapinese, told The Times that on busy summer days, the city can attract 300,000 visitors.

He said that it's led to them considering a Venice-style tourist tax on visitors, and he plans to start charging €50 ($54) for each private coach that arrives.

"You have no idea how difficult it is to be mayor when you are fighting tourism," he told the outlet.

Watch: Was Italy's $1 home scheme worth it?

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From humble beginnings to success stories: 4 reasons why BINI is worth stanning

international tourism net worth

  • 24 May, 2024
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The eight-member Philippine pop (P-Pop) girl group BINI—composed of young, powerful and talented women, namely Aiah, Colet, Maloi, Gwen, Stacey, Mikha, Jhoanna and Sheena—is shooting their golden arrow as they are making their legacy in the local and international music industry. As they walk on their blooming island of success, BINI strives to share their talent and passion as modern Filipinas, promoting the country’s music and culture.

BINI members perform their pre-debut single “Da Coconut Nut.” Photo from BINI_ph Facebook page.

The nation’s girl group debuted with the single “Born to Win” under ABS-CBN Star Music on June 11, 2021. After two years of training at Star Hunt Academy from 2018 to 2020, BINI was born to win the battles in achieving their dreams, goals and advocacies through music.

As they make waves from the local to the international music scene, here are four reasons why BINI is worth stanning:

1. From self-promotion to global recognition

BINI’s success came from their endless determination. As rookies, the girls experienced walking along the streets to hand out flyers to passersby and promote their group to the locals, as shown in one of their vlogs in 2022.

Maloi hands out flyers containing information about their group. Photo from BINI Official YouTube Channel.

The girls’ hard work in showcasing their talent bore fruit from the constant love and support from their growing fans. Their upcoming three-day solo concert in June sold out in less than two hours.

The group also received numerous significant industry recognitions, such as Billboard Philippines’ “The Rising Star Award” and Spotify Philippines’ most streamed OPM artist, OPM group, and female artist after garnering 5.3 million monthly listeners.

On the international stage, the nation’s girl group carved their name in the industry as UNIS members Elisia, Gehlee and Seowon covered their hit song “Pantropiko.” BINI has also participated in a Chinese survival show led by EXO’s Lay to represent Philippine pop music.

UNIS members, Elisia, Seowon, and Gehlee, perform “Pantropiko”. Photo from 1theK Originals - 원더케이 오리지널 YouTube Channel.

With BINI’s massive success, the group never forgets to thank their fans and dedicate their success to them.

“Pinaghirapan talaga namin ‘to. Parang nag-pe-pay off lahat ng taon at sakripisyo. Nakikita namin ang fruit of our labor. Thank you so much, Blooms,” Maloi expressed in one of their interviews.

READ: BINI grateful for widespread success, seeing the ‘fruit of our labor’

2. BINI being BINI

Aside from their talents, the nation’s girl group has been trending because of their amusing and unserious moments, which brought waves of laughter online. Caught by their no-idol-image personalities and Filipino humor, fans compiled BINI ‘cores,’ or funny moments of the group.

In a now-viral video, TikTok user @jhoblox._ posted humorous snippets from the members’ live streams, interviews and vlogs that drew good vibes online.  

@jhoblox._ bini core &lt3 nood kayo! last na talaga pramis HAHAHHAHAHAHA had to reupload kase mag error. I do not own any of these vids, the process of editing lang. ctto po sa vids 🫶 thank u! #bini #binijhoanna #binisheena #binimikha #binistacey #binigwen #binimaloi #biniaiah #binicolet ♬ Salamin, Salamin – BINI

In addition, Maloi went viral for her unending fan services, such as giving fare money to a fan, sharpening a fan’s pencil, and peeling a mango and giving its skin to a fan.

READ: BINI member Maloi goes viral after giving money to a fan who asked for fare

READ: BINI member Maloi takes fan service to the next level during a recent mall show

3. BINI being fearless for their goals and advocacies

BINI is renowned for its members’ courage in using their platform to relay their message of empowering women, being an ally of the LGBTQIA+ community, and standing with the people. 

On March 8, International Women’s Day, the group released the album “Talaarawan” to celebrate and empower women through music. 

“Our advocacy is women empowerment. We always want to inspire women, and not just women, but we [want to] make sure that people feel confident in their skin. That’s why I think that March 8 is the perfect date,” Mikha stated in an interview.

READ: BINI on why ‘Talaarawan’ will drop on International Women’s Day

In addition, fans appreciate Maloi for proudly supporting and thanking the LGBTQIA+ community after saying “ Mabuhay ang mga bakla! ” on a show, and Aiah for dancing with local drag queens, expressing that she loves the community.

Above all, BINI is using their platform to voice out their advocacies fearlessly, especially when it comes to serving and standing with the people. 

A fan, X user @bini8forever, posted a video of BINI’s leader, Jhoanna, discussing the importance of protecting national minorities and their rights at a music festival last Feb. 17.

that’s our leader. lesgo jhoanna! BINI AT UPFairREV #BINIxUPFairSaturday #BINI @BINI_ph pic.twitter.com/xIXOuSy9WP — rosas ❤︎ ྀི (@bini8forever) February 17, 2024

4. BINI promotes local artists and tourism

BINI supports local artists by patronizing their works and using them in shows. On their vlog “BINI Road Trip Adventures,” they featured local tourist spots where the members tried the local food, experienced the local activities, and learned about the culture of the places as they traveled to different parts of the country.

Colet uses an African drum “Djembe” as she jams with the local group of drummers called “Kadwa Drums”. Photo from BINI Official YouTube Channel.

At an early age in their careers, the members had their personal struggles in fighting for their dreams. Despite experiencing waves of challenges, BINI stood tall with the unwavering love and support from their loved ones and fans. 

Their rocky adventure yet enjoyable journey led them to their blooming success. Indeed, to stan BINI is to stan a group of modern Filipinas who are passionate about sharing their talents and culture with the world and empowering people through their music and platform. 

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Pop jr contributor - britney marie r. usabal.

From humble beginnings to success stories: 4 reasons why BINI is worth stanning

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No more cute snaps of Mount Fuji over a convenience store. A screen was built to stop tourist crowds

The town of Fujikawaguchiko, known for a photo spot that offers Japan’s iconic Mount Fuji as if rising from atop a local convenience store, has constructed a huge black screen on a stretch of a sidewalk to block the view of the mountain. The town on Tuesday completed construction of the barricade near a Lawson convenience store, which suddenly started attracting foreign tourists a couple of years ago as a popular photo spot, apparently after a photo taken in a particular angle showing Mount Fuji in the background as if it the picturesque mountain sits atop the store roof became a social media sensation.

international tourism net worth

The town of Fujikawaguchiko has had enough of tourists. Known for a number of scenic photo spots that offer a near-perfect shot of Japan’s iconic Mount Fuji, the town on Tuesday began to construct a large black screen on a stretch of sidewalk to block the view of the mountain. The reason: misbehaving foreign tourists. (AP Video: Ayaka McGill)

Workers set up a huge black screen on a stretch of sidewalk at Fujikawaguchiko town, Yamanashi prefecture, central Japan Tuesday, May 21, 2024. Just a few weeks ago, the town began setting up a huge black screen to block a view of Mount Fuji because tourists were crowding into the area to take photos with the mountain as a backdrop to a convenience store, a social media phenomenon known as “Mount Fuji Lawson” that has disrupted business, traffic and local life. (Kyodo News via AP)

Workers set up a huge black screen on a stretch of sidewalk at Fujikawaguchiko town, Yamanashi prefecture, central Japan Tuesday, May 21, 2024. Just a few weeks ago, the town began setting up a huge black screen to block a view of Mount Fuji because tourists were crowding into the area to take photos with the mountain as a backdrop to a convenience store, a social media phenomenon known as “Mount Fuji Lawson” that has disrupted business, traffic and local life. (Kyodo News via AP)

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A worker sets up a huge black screen on a stretch of sidewalk at Fujikawaguchiko town, Yamanashi prefecture, central Japan Tuesday, May 21, 2024. Just a few weeks ago, the town began setting up a huge black screen to block a view of Mount Fuji because tourists were crowding into the area to take photos with the mountain as a backdrop to a convenience store, a social media phenomenon known as “Mount Fuji Lawson” that has disrupted business, traffic and local life. (Kyodo News via AP)

FILE - The shadow of Mount Fuji is casted on clouds hanging below the summit, Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2019, in Japan. Those who want to climb one of the most popular trails of the iconic Japanese Mount Fuji will now have to reserve ahead and pay a fee as the picturesque stratovolcano struggles with overtourism, littering and those who attempt rushed “bullet climbing,” putting lives at risk. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

FILE - In this Dec. 8, 2010 file photo, snow-covered Mount Fuji, Japan’s highest peak at 3,776-meters tall (12,385 feet), is seen from an airplane window. Those who want to climb one of the most popular trails of the iconic Japanese Mount Fuji will now have to reserve ahead and pay a fee as the picturesque stratovolcano struggles with overtourism, littering and those who attempt rushed “bullet climbing,” putting lives at risk. (AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye, File)

TOKYO (AP) — Sorry, the screen is now up — no more snapping cute photos of Mount Fuji from a popular sidewalk spot in the Japanese town of Fujikawaguchiko.

Known as a place that offers some of the best views of the iconic Japanese mountain, the town last month started erecting a large black screen on a stretch of a street to block the view and deter tourists from overcrowding the place.

A particularly popular photo location was outside a Lawson convenience store, from where a photograph taken at a particular angle would make it seem as if Mount Fuji was sitting atop the store roof.

The tourists, mostly foreigners, even dubbed the spot “Mt. Fuji Lawson.”

But the townspeople were unhappy — visitors would block the narrow sidewalk, take photos on the busy road or walk into neighbors’ properties in pursuit of their shot, officials said.

On Tuesday, construction of the 2.5 meter (8.2 feet) high black mesh net — stretching for 20 meters (66 feet) along the sidewalk — was completed.

Workers set up a huge black screen on a stretch of sidewalk at Fujikawaguchiko town, Yamanashi prefecture, central Japan Tuesday, May 21, 2024. Just a few weeks ago, the town began setting up a huge black screen to block a view of Mount Fuji because tourists were crowding into the area to take photos with the mountain as a backdrop to a convenience store, a social media phenomenon known as “Mount Fuji Lawson” that has disrupted business, traffic and local life. (Kyodo News via AP)

Still, there are other places tourists can find their sweet photo spot.

This week, Yamanashi prefecture, also home to the Yoshida Trail — the most popular of the four routes to summit the 3,776-meter (12,300-feet-) high mountain — introduced a booking system ahead of this year’s Fuji climbing season to ease overcrowding, littering and safety risks.

FILE - This mobile phone app screen shot shows the logo for Dogecoin, in New York, April 20, 2021. Kabosu, the Siba Inu that rose to meme fame after becoming the face of the cryptocurrency Dogecoin, has died. She was 18. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

Under the new plan, only up to 4,000 climbers will be allowed to enter the trail per day for a hiking fee of 2,000 yen (about $18), with an option of donating an additional 1,000 yen (about $9) for conservation during the climbing season, which starts July 1 and runs until Sept. 10.

Only those with reservation for an overnight stay at huts along the trail are allowed to hike beyond the 5th of the 10 stations between 4 p.m. and 3 a.m., a measure to stop “bullet climbing,” or rushing to the summit without adequate rest, which officials say puts lives at risk.

Designated a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site in 2013, Mount Fuji used to be a place of pilgrimage.

A worker sets up a huge black screen on a stretch of sidewalk at Fujikawaguchiko town, Yamanashi prefecture, central Japan Tuesday, May 21, 2024. Just a few weeks ago, the town began setting up a huge black screen to block a view of Mount Fuji because tourists were crowding into the area to take photos with the mountain as a backdrop to a convenience store, a social media phenomenon known as “Mount Fuji Lawson” that has disrupted business, traffic and local life. (Kyodo News via AP)

Today, it’s popular among hikers who climb the summit to watch the sunrise. But tons of trash left behind, including plastic bottles, food and even clothes, have become a major concern.

Over-tourism has also become a growing issue at other popular tourist destinations such as Kyoto and Kamakura.

Last year, Japan had more than 25 million visitors, and the figures in 2024 are expected to surpass nearly 32 million, a record from 2019, according to the Japan National Tourism Organization.

international tourism net worth

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Luxury tourism revenue of trending travel destinations 2020-2024

Total internal luxury tourism revenue of trending travel destinations in 2020 and 2024 (in billion u.s. dollars).

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Internal luxury tourism revenue is defined as the revenues of a country generated by domestic and inbound international high net worth individuals (HNWI) through the acquisition of consumer goods, services, and valuables for and during trips. HNWIs have a net asset of over one million U.S. dollars and spend an average of 2,300 U.S. dollars per travel day. Figures have been rounded.

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