According to the latest data from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), Paris is the world’s strongest city destination. Sponsored by Visa and researched in partnership with Oxford Economics, the report analyzed key indicators such as Travel and Tourism’s contribution to GDP, employment and traveler spending.
As countries close their borders in response to the pandemic, Covid-19 has had a serious impact on Travel and Tourism and especially on major cities around the world. When borders reopened, many recreational travelers replaced their city visits with less populated destinations such as coastal and rural destinations, but WTTC’s latest research shows that city vacations are making a comeback and growing in popularity.
Paris takes the crown as the world’s strongest city destination, with a Travel and Tourism industry worth approximately US$36 Billion in 2022 in terms of direct GDP contribution to the city. In the next 10 years, WTTC predicts that it will regress to third place despite its value rising to over $49 billion.
Major cities such as London, Paris and New York will continue to be global powerhouses.
Julia Simpson, President and CEO of WTTC
France is also poised to solidify itself as the world’s most visited country, according to GlobalData, which estimates the country will attract 93.7 million international passengers by 2025. The analytics company said the forecast would put the country ahead of rival Spain. Outpacing France in 2021.
According to GlobalData’s ‘Tourism Destination Market Forecast: Western Europe (2022)’ report, France held the title of the most visited country in the world before the Covid-19 outbreak, hosting 88.1 million visitors in 2019. 2021.
Attracting 66.6 million international visitors in 2022, France is expected to increase the number of international arrivals at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.1% between 2022 and 2025.
Alongside Italy and Spain, France represents a significant portion of growth in Western Europe, GlobalData reports. The country is not only popular with travelers from Europe, particularly the United Kingdom, Germany, and Belgium, but also with visitors from further afield, including China and the United States.
Beijing is currently the second largest city destination in the world, with a Travel and Tourism industry worth approximately $33 billion. But WTTC estimates it will surpass Paris to an astonishing $77 billion over the next 10 years. “Tourists will always have favorite cities to return to, but as other countries prioritize Travel and Tourism, we will see new and emerging destinations that challenge traditional favourites,” said Julia Simpson, WTTC President and CEO.
Often referred to as the theme park capital of the world, Orlando’s Travel & Tourism industry was valued at $31 billion in 2022, but will decline to become the fourth-largest city despite projections suggesting it will grow by almost 50% to $45 billion by 2032.
China’s national Travel and Tourism sector has grown tremendously over the past decade as the country invests in new hotels, transportation infrastructure and new tourist destinations.
In the next few years, Beijing, Shanghai and Macau will rise on the list of top city destinations.
Julia Simpson, President and CEO of WTTC
This investment in Travel and Tourism predicts that the Shanghai sector, worth nearly $30 billion last year, will more than double to almost $71 billion by 2032, making it the second strongest urban destination in the world.
Las Vegas remains the only city in the top 10 list and remains the 5th largest city destination. Last year, Las Vegas’ Travel & Tourism industry was valued at approximately $23 billion and is projected to grow to over $36 billion by 2032.
Other non-top 10 cities showing promising growth as emerging destinations include Warsaw, the capital of Poland, which saw a 14.4% increase in GDP contribution in 2022 compared to 2019.
China’s coastal city, Sanya, which has become a popular tourist destination in recent years as vacationers visit its stunning beaches, recorded a growth of 10.2% in the same period. The Travel and Tourism sector represents an incredible 43.6% of the city’s total economy. Macau’s Travel and Tourism sector represents 40.4% of the city’s total economy.
Orlando and Las Vegas are the only cities currently in the top 10 strongest city destinations based on industry value and rely heavily on the industry as a share of the city’s overall economy.
Travel and Tourism represents 20.4% of the Orlando economy and 16.3% of the Las Vegas economy. By contrast, Paris’ Travel and Tourism sector represents only 3.5% of the capital’s economy in 2022. The top ten cities where international travelers spent the most in 2022 were:
- Dubai – $29.42 Billion
- Doha – $16.79 billion
- London – $16.07 Billion
- Macau – $15.58 billion
- Amsterdam – $13.59 Billion
- Istanbul – $13.13 billion
- Barcelona – $12.73 billion
- New York – $12.45 Billion
- Singapore – $10.97 Billion
- Paris – $9.76 Billion
In 2032, the WTTC predicts that the top five cities with the largest international traveler spend will change as follows:
- Hong Kong – $52.06 Billion (up 38 places from 2022)
- Macau – $43.14 billion (up two places from 2022)
- Dubai – $42.98 billion (down two places from 2022)
- Singapore – $37.43 billion (up five places from 2022)
- Bangkok – $33.45 billion (seven places up from 2022)
- Doha – $31.63 billion (down four places from 2022)
- Tokyo $25.44 Billion (30 positions up from 2022)
- New York $21.73 billion (no change from 2022)
- Amsterdam $21.53 billion (down four places from 2022)
- Shanghai – $21.3 billion (up 11 places from 2022)
In the next decade, Travel and Tourism is on track to become a key driver of economic growth, with faster GDP growth than any other industry. It is expected to create 126 million new jobs worldwide.