Receipts from international tourism in destinations around the world grew by four per cent in 2012, reaching US$1,075 billion, figures from the UNWTO reveal.
This growth is equal to the four per cent increase in international tourist arrivals, which reached 1,035 million in 2012.
An additional US$ 219 billion was recorded in receipts from international passenger transport, bringing total exports generated by international tourism in 2012 to US$1.3 trillion.
According to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, international tourism receipts hit a new record in 2012, reaching an estimated US$1,075 billion worldwide, up four per cent in real terms, from US$ 1042 billion in 2011.
“It is encouraging to see that the growth in international tourist arrivals was equalled by a comparable increase in spending in spite of continued economic challenges” said UNWTO secretary general, Taleb Rifai.
“Considering that tourism is a key export for many economies around the world, this result is good news as it provides foreign reserves to destinations, and contributes to job creation in tourism as well as in related economic sectors,” he added.
By regions, the Americas (up seven per cent) recorded the largest increase in receipts, followed by Asia and the Pacific (up six per cent), Africa (up five per cent) and Europe (up two per cent).
Receipts in the Middle East were still down (down per cent); yet report a steady improvement compared to the decline recorded in 2011.
In absolute values, Europe saw US$ 457 billion in tourism earnings, equivalent to 43 per cent of the world’s total tourism receipts, the largest share by region.
The top ten ranking of destinations by receipts remained virtually unchanged in 2012, with the United States, Spain, France, China and Italy leading, followed by Macau (China), Germany, United Kingdom, Hong Kong (China) and Australia.