US remains world’s top travel and tourism market

Wednesday, 06 Sep, 2022 0

The US remains the world’s biggest travel and tourism market, according to the latest World Travel & Tourism Council’s Economic Trends Report.

Its top ranking was reaffirmed, despite travel restrictions during Covid, resulting in economic losses.

However, while its number one position was retained, the sector’s contribution to the nation’s economy fell by US$700 billion in 2019, to just under US$1.3 trillion last year.

Research by Oxford Economics for WTTC shows there has been no change in the top three countries with China second and Germany third.

However, the top economies bolstered their numbers through domestic travel when international visitor numbers plummeted.

Despite the challenges of the past two years, the new report shows business travel is on the road to recovery.

Julia Simpson, WTTC President and CEO, said: “Our report shows the resilience of the sector. The world, with some exceptions, is travelling again. “

We are seeing a resurgence in business travel.”

China held onto its second position, with more than US$814 billion, while Germany remained the third biggest sector in the world.

The UK slipped dramatically from fifth place in 2019 to ninth in 2021, with a contribution of just over US$157 billion, the biggest faller of the top 10 countries.

Across Asia Pacific, major Travel & Tourism markets such as Thailand and Japan saw huge losses in international spending, which resulted in both markets – in fifth and eighth place respectively before the pandemic – falling out of the top 20 altogether in 2021.

Forward research shows China’s sector contribution to GDP could reach US$3.9 trillion by 2032, making it the world’s top travel and tourism market.

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Ray Monty

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