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Tourism – an economic and social phenomenon
Over the decades, tourism has experienced continued growth and deepening diversification to become one of the fastest growing economic sectors in the world. Modern tourism is closely linked to development and encompasses a growing number of new destinations. These dynamics have turned tourism into a key driver for socio-economic progress.
Today, the business volume of tourism equals or even surpasses that of oil exports, food products or automobiles. Tourism has become one of the major players in international commerce, and represents at the same time one of the main income sources for many developing countries. This growth goes hand in hand with an increasing diversification and competition among destinations.
This global spread of tourism in industrialised and developed states has produced economic and employment benefits in many related sectors - from construction to agriculture or telecommunications.
The contribution of tourism to economic well-being depends on the quality and the revenues of the tourism offer. UNWTO assists destinations in their sustainable positioning in ever more complex national and international markets. As the UN agency dedicated to tourism, UNWTO points out that particularly developing countries stand to benefit from sustainable tourism and acts to help make this a reality.
Current developments and forecasts
- International tourist arrivals grew by 4.4 % in 2014 to 1.135 billion
- In 2014, international tourism generated US$ 1.5 trillion in export earnings
- UNWTO forecasts a growth in international tourist arrivals of between 3% and 4% in 2015
UNWTO Tourism Highlights presents a concise overview of international tourism in the world based on the results for the year 2013. The booklet includes:
- Key trends in international tourism in 2013
- Results by (sub)region and country of destination
- World’s top tourism destinations
- Outbound tourism by region and top spenders
- Long-term forecast: Tourism towards 2030
Download your own copy here.
For more information on Facts & Figures please visit: http://mkt.unwto.org/