China continues to lead international outbound tourism, followed by the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom and France. 2016 was another strong year for outbound tourism from China, the world’s leading outbound market.
Based on expenditure from major outbound markets in 2016, the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer shows that with a 12% increase in spending, China continues to lead international outbound tourism, followed by the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom and France.
2016 was another strong year for outbound tourism from China, the world’s leading outbound market. International tourism expenditure grew by US$ 11 billion to US$ 261 billion, an increase by 12%. The number of outbound travellers rose 6% to 135 million in 2016.
The growth in outbound travel from China benefited many destinations in Asia and the Pacific, most notably Japan, the Republic of Korea and Thailand, but also long-haul destinations such as the United States and several in Europe.
Aside from China, three other Asian outbound markets among the first ten showed very positive results. The Republic of Korea (US$ 27 billion) and Australia (US$ 27 billion) both spent 8% more in 2016 and Hong Kong (China) entered the top 10 following 5% growth in expenditure (US$ 24 billion).
Tourism spending from the United States, the world’s second largest source market increased 8% in 2016 to US$ 122 billion, up US$ 9 billion on 2015. For a third year in a row, strong outbound demand was fuelled by a robust US dollar and economy. The number of US residents travelling to international destinations increased 8%.
Canada reported flat results, with US$ 29 billion spent on international tourism, while the number of outbound overnight trips declined by 3% to 31 million.
Germany, the United Kingdom, France and Italy all reported growth in outbound demand. Germany reported 5% growth in international tourism spending. Demand from the United Kingdom remained sound despite the significant depreciation of the British pound in 2016. UK residents’ visits abroad were up by 5 million (+7%) in 2016 to 70 million, with expenditure at US$ 64 billion.
France reported 7% growth in tourism expenditure in 2016 to reach US$ 41 billion. Italy recorded 1% growth in spending to US$ 25 billion and a 3% increase in overnight trips to 29 million.
Among the largest 50 source markets, there were another nine that recorded double-digit growth in spending in 2016: Vietnam (+28%), Argentina (+26%), Egypt (+19%), Spain (+17%), India (+16%), Israel and Ukraine (both +12%), Qatar and Thailand (both +11%).
Expenditure from the Russian Federation declined further in 2016 to US$ 24 billion. International tourism spending from Brazil also decreased in 2016.