The number of international tourist arrivals (visitors who spend at least one night in another country) reached a worldwide total of 1.186 billion in 2015, a year-on-year rise of 4.6%. France, the USA, Spain and China continue to top the rankings in both international arrivals and receipts.
According to Tourism Towards 2030, the long-term forecast published by the World Tourism Organization (WTO), the number of international tourist arrivals worldwide should increase by an average of 3.3% a year between 2010 and 2030, to reach a total of 1.8 billion by 2030. Between 2010 and 2030, international arrivals in emerging economy destinations are expected to continue growing at double the pace (+4.4% year) of advanced ones (+2.2% a year).
The top four places in the ranking, both by international arrivals and by receipts, are occupied by the same countries, albeit in a different order. France remains the world’s top destination in terms of arrivals with 84 million tourists in 2015 (in addition to a further 400,000 foreign visitors to its overseas territories),but it is only the fourth largest tourism earner with US$ 46 billion.
The United States is the world’s top tourism earner (US$ 205 billion recorded in 2015) and the number two destination in terms of international arrivals (78 million visitors). China is the second largest earner (US$ 114 billion) and fourth in arrivals (57 million). Spain, meanwhile, comes in third position, both in receipts (US$ 57 billion) and in arrivals (68 million).