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BRIC economies shine in global outbound tourism spend

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Tourism spend is on the rise globally, with the Chinese coming in as the top spenders and Russia and Brazil making strong recovery last year, according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer.

All top 25 source markets, comprising emerging and advanced economies, in the barometer reported higher spending on international tourism in 2017.

Tourism spending up in all 25 top source markets in the Barometer
The BRIC economies are a standout. China consolidated its leadership as the biggest spender in travel abroad in 2017 with US$258 billion in expenditure (+5 per cent in local currency). The other BRIC economies also all substantially increased expenditure in 2017.

Rebounding from weaker spending in previous years are Russia, which climbed three places to re-enter the top 10 at eighth place with US$31 billion (+13 per cent), and Brazil, which moved up eight places to number 16 with US$19 billion (+20 per cent).

India, another key emerging outbound market, continued its rise with nine per cent growth in spending to US$18 billion, moving up four places in the ranking to 17th.

Advanced markets also reported robust performance in 2017, led by the US as the second largest outbound market to spend US$135 billion (+ nine per cent).

Expenditure from Germany (the third largest market) and the UK (fourth) both increased three per cent, and France (fifth) saw a one per cent increased.

Australia (sixth) reported seven per cent growth and Canada (seventh) a nine per cent increase. Completing the top 10 are South Korea (ninth), where expenditure grew by nine per cent, and Italy (10th), which increased by six per cent.

Beyond the top 10, notable increases in tourism spending were seen in Sweden (+14 per cent) and Spain (+12 per cent).

These strong results in outbound tourism are consistent with the seven per cent increase in international tourist arrivals in 2017. Demand for travel was particularly high in Europe, where arrivals increased eight per cent last year.