Tourism is big bucks for a lot of countries and business in the tourism sector is really booming. Tourism has grown by 5% in the first half of 2013, surpassing the UN’s World Tourism Organisation’s expectations. Tourism has never been so important to global economics, recession or not.
The UN estimates that around 494 million people spend the nigh in a new destination in the first half of 2013. That’s an increase of 25 million during the same period in 2012. The Middle East and Asia are leading the way in terms of tourism growth but it’s safe to say that tourism in the Middle East will likely slow down during the second half of the year due to the political unrest in Egypt and Syria.
The number of overnight visitors in the Caribbean, South America and North America didn’t really change too much from last year. What is interesting from the UN’s World Tourism Barometer though is which travellers are spending the most cash. Chinese tourists are spending the most abroad, with international travel spend up by 31% among Chinese travellers. Russians are also spending plenty abroad, up 22% compared to last year and Brazilians are spending 15% more.
Travel spending among Americans, Germans and Brits remains unchanged while Japanese, Italian and Australians are spending less money abroad. Aren’t the hard times of the recession supposed to be on their way out?
Take a look at your own journal this year, did you travel more in 2013 compared to last year? Has your travel budget increased since 2012?
Check out the World Tourism Barometer for more information.