Top 10 spenders on overseas travel


MADRID, 26 April 2018: Overseas travel spend is on the increase in all major supply markets led by the US and China according to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation’s latest barometer.

UNWTO reported Tuesday that most source markets saw travel spend increase with the United States, where outbound travel spend increased USD 12 billion and China by USD 8 billion.

Overseas travel spend generated in the Russian Federation increased by USD 7 billion and in Brazil by USD 5 billion.

Both markets are rebounding from weaker spending in previous years.

All top 25 source markets reported higher spending on international travel in 2017, as highlighted in the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer.

China overtook the US as the  biggest spender in overseas travel in 2017 clocking USD 258 billion in expenditure (+5% in local currency).

The other three BRIC economies all substantially increased expenditure in 2017. The Russian Federation (+13%) rebounded after a few years of declines, to reach USD 31 billion, climbing three places to re-enter the top ten at number 8.

Brazil (+20%) also recovered and moved up eight places to 16th with USD 19 billion in expenditure. India continued its rise with 9% growth in spending to USD 18 billion and moved up four places to 17th.

Advanced economies also performed robustly in 2017, led by the United States (+9%), the world’s second largest outbound market. US travellers spent USD 12 billion more on international tourism to total USD 135 billion. Germany (3rd largest market) and the United Kingdom (4th) both increased their overseas travel spend by 3%, and France (5th) by 1%.

Australia (6th) reported 7% growth and Canada (7th) a 9% increase. Completing the top 10 are the Republic of Korea (9th) where expenditure grew by 9% and Italy (10th) where it increased by 6%.

Beyond the top 10, outbound travel spend also grew notably in Sweden (+14%) and Spain (+12%).

These strong results in outbound tourism are consistent with the 7% increase in international tourist arrivals in 2017. Demand for travel to Europe was particularly high, where arrivals increased 8% last year.


    • Yes this is the new fashion. Count dollars spent rather than footfall. However, the spend is calculated as you rightly point out by multiplying a daily spend estimate by the head count. The daily spend estimates are based on exit surveys and data from credit card use etc. But it is still a calculated guess. UNWTO bases its figures on what each member country provides.

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