International tourism receipts increased by USD 48 billion in 2014 to reach a record USD 1,245 billion. An additional USD 221 billion was generated from international passenger transport, bringing total exports from international tourism up to USD 1.5 trillion.
Receipts from international visitors spending on accommodation, food and drink, entertainment, shopping and other services and goods reached an estimated USD 1,245 billion in 2014, an increase of 3.7%. International tourist arrivals increased by 4.4% in 2014, reaching a total 1,135 million, up from 1,087 million in 2013.
Aside from international tourism receipts, tourism also generates export earnings through international passenger transport services. The latter amounted to an estimated USD 221 billion in 2014, bringing total exports from international tourism up to USD 1.5 trillion, or USD 4 billion a day on average.
“International tourism is an increasingly significant component of international trade as seen in export earnings from international tourism and passenger transport, which reached USD 1.5 trillion in 2014,” said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai. “In a scenario with decreasing commodity prices, spending on international tourism grew significantly in 2014, proving the sector’s capacity to stimulate economic growth, boost exports and create jobs”, he added.
Europe, which accounts for 41% of worldwide international tourism receipts, saw an increase in tourism earnings in absolute terms of USD 17 billion to USD 509 billion. Asia and the Pacific (30% share) saw an increase of USD 16 billion, reaching USD 377 billion. In the Americas, (22% share), receipts increased by USD 10 billion to a total of USD 274 billion. In the Middle East, (4% share) tourism receipts increased by an estimated USD 4 billion to USD 49 billion and in Africa (3% share) by USD 1 billion to USD 36 billion.
By sub region, Northern Europe, Southern and Mediterranean Europe, North-East Asia, Oceania, South Asia, Caribbean, Central America, South America and the Middle East showed fastest growth in relative terms, all recording +5% or over in receipts.