The significance of tourism on the world economy
The total number of international tourists has gone from 1.2 billion in 2016 to 1.3 billion in 2017, according to the World Tourism Organisation. This represents an increase of more than 7%, the largest increase since 2010. The UNWTO estimates an increase in the number of international tourists of 3.3% per year over the next 10 years, to reach 1.8 billion in 2030.
In 2017, tourism accounted for 10% of world GDP, one in ten jobs, and 7% of world exports, again according to the UNWTO.
The significance of tourism on the French economy
Tourism-related revenues in 2016 in France totalled 42.5 billion dollars, i.e. 34.37 billion euros. This amount places France in 5th position in this sector, behind the United States (205.9 billion dollars), Spain, Thailand and China.
The tourism industry generates 7.3% of French GDP. According to the government, this sector accounts for 2 million direct and indirect jobs. The targets set for 2020 could create 300,000 additional jobs throughout the country.
Who are these international tourists?
- Europe remains the first region that travels: it accounts for half of all international arrivals in the world.
- Asia-Pacific comes in second place with 1 out of 4 tourists in the world coming from there.
What are the destinations of international tourists?
Europe welcomed 672 million international tourists in 2017, the equivalent of more than half of the world’s total number of tourists.
For several years now, France has remained the country that welcomes the largest number of tourists in the world: more than 80 million each year, with an average of 238,000 arrivals per day. In 2017, these figures exploded with a record attendance of around 89 million foreign visitors, according to the government. Although France experienced a slight drop in tourism in 2015 due to terrorist attacks, the trend was definitively reversed in 2017.
The USA, Spain, China and Italy hold their positions in the top 5 of most visited countries, followed by Mexico, the United Kingdom, Turkey, Germany and Thailand.
The strongest trend concerns Asia-Pacific, where tourism is experiencing its strongest growth: +9% in 2016, ahead of Africa (+8%) and the Americas (+3%).