China top of the leaderboard for tourism spend

SINGAPORE, 6 June 2025: China has recovered its position as the top spender on international tourism in 2023 as Asia and the Pacific consolidate recovery from the impacts of the pandemic. 

In 2022, the top spenders list was headed by the US, France and Spain. The US took the top spots for most-visited destinations.

Top Tourism Spenders in 2023 

Chinese expenditure on travel abroad reached USD196.5 billion in 2023, ahead of the USA (USD150 billion), Germany (USD112 billion), the UK (USD110 billion) and France (USD49 billion). The top 10 spenders for 2023 were Canada, Italy, India, the Russian Federation and the Republic of Korea. India jumped to 8th place from 14th in 2019, confirming the country’s growing importance as a source market, while Italy rose from 10th to 7th position. 

Top in arrivals and receipts: France, Spain and the USA consolidate their positions.

France became the world’s most visited destination in 2023 with 100 million international tourist arrivals. Spain was second with 85 million, followed by the USA (66 million), Italy (57 million) and Türkiye, which closed the top five with 55 million international tourists.  

Completing the top 10 most visited destinations in 2023 are Mexico, the United Kingdom, Germany, Greece and Austria. Compared to before the pandemic, Italy, Türkiye, Mexico, Germany and Austria all rose one position, while the United Kingdom rose from 10th to 7th and Greece from 13th to 9th. 

As for international tourism receipts, the US leads the ranking, earning USD176 billion in 2023, followed by Spain (USD92 billion), the UK (USD 74 billion), France (USD 69 billion) and Italy (USD 56 billion). 

Following the above, destinations earning the most from international tourism in 2023 include the United Arab Emirates, Türkiye, Australia, Canada, Japan, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Macao (China), India and Mexico, which complete the top 15 list of tourism earners.  

Upward movements in the ranking among the top earners include the UK jumping to the 3rd position from 5th pre-pandemic, the United Arab Emirates from 13th to 6th, Türkiye from 12th to 7th, Canada from 15th to 9th, Saudi Arabia from 27th to 12th, and Mexico from 17th to 15th.  

Croatia (from 32nd to 25th), Morocco (from 41st to 31st) and the Dominican Republic (43rd to 34th) also moved up in the Top 50 ranking by receipts in 2023, as did Qatar (from 51st to 37th) and Colombia (50th to 44th). 

Looking ahead to a full recovery globally in 2024 

According to the latest World Tourism Barometer, in 2023, international tourist arrivals recovered 89% of 2019 levels and 97% in Q1 2024. UN Tourism’s projection for 2024 points to a full recovery of international tourism, with arrivals growing 2% above 2019 levels, backed by strong demand, enhanced air connectivity, and the continued recovery of China and other major Asian markets. 

Total export revenues from international tourism, including receipts and passenger transport, reached an estimated USD 1.7 trillion in 2023, about 96% of pre-pandemic levels in real terms. Tourism direct GDP recovered pre-pandemic levels in 2023, reaching an estimated USD 3.3 trillion, equivalent to 3% of global GDP. 


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