- About UNWTO
- Member States
- Affiliate Members
- Destination Management & Quality Programme
- Education and Training
- Ethics & Social Responsibility
- Information Resources & Archives
- Institutional and Corporate Relations
- Knowledge Network
- Market Trends
- Risk and Crisis Management
- Governing Bodies
- Statistics and Tourism Satellite Account
- Sustainable Development of Tourism
- Silk Road
- Technical Cooperation
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 & forecasts
- International tourist arrivals grew by 5% in 2013 to 1.087 billion
- In 2012, international tourism generated US$ 1.3 trillion in export earnings
- UNWTO forecasts a growth in international tourist arrivals of between 4% and 4.5% in 2014
For more information on Facts & Figures please visit: http://mkt.unwto.org/