China, USA, Germany top for tourism revenue

The total number of global tourists in 2018 reached 1.279 billion, an increase of 580 million people over 2017, with a growth rate of 4%. The prediction for 2019 is 1.276 billion for 2019. These figures are broadly in line with those from the World Tourism Association. Global tourism income hit US$1.59 trillion in 2018, a growth rate of 3.1% a year.

China is second in overall tourism revenue, after the USA, according to the “Report on World Tourism Economy Trends 2019” by World Tourism Cities Federation and the Tourism Research Centre of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

The report focuses on the perspectives of global, regional, country, industry and city levels and looks at the development trend of world tourism with reference to global tourism economic development, regional development pattern change, global tourism investment and the role of cities in the global tourism economy.

It predicts global economic growth will slow down in 2019, but the tourism economy will rise steadily. Tourism development in five global regions is becoming more obvious, with the growth in Asia and the decline in Europe. The scale of tourism investment is biggest in Asia-Pacific and fastest growing in the Middle East.

20 countries create 80% of the global tourism revenue. Cities are still the main destination for inbound tourists, and 95% of international cities are from Asia-Pacific, Europe and the Americas. 79 international cities between them had more than a third of the total number of tourists and more than a fifth of total tourism revenue.

Domestic travel is huge and often forgotten. In 2018, global domestic tourism numbers reached 10.82 billion with growth predicted at 5.1% in 2019. In 2018 global domestic tourism revenue reached US$3.76 trillion with growth predicted at 3.1% in 2019.

The top 20 countries by revenue in 2018:


Position Country 2018 Country 2019 prediction
1 China China
3 Germany Germany
4 Japan Japan
6 India India
7 France France
8 Italy Italy
9 Mexico Mexico
10 Spain Spain
11 Australia Australia
12 Brazil Brazil
13 Canada Canada
14 Thailand Thailand
15 South Korea South Korea
16 Turkey Philippines
17 Philippines Turkey
18 Russia Russia
19 Switzerland Switzerland
20 Austria Austria

Report on World Tourism Economy Trends 2019