New data from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) found that the United States remains the world’s biggest and most powerful travel and tourism market.
According to the WTTC’s Economic Trends Report, America’s travel and tourism industry contributed $1.3 trillion to the country’s economy last year, a decline of $700 billion from the total reported in 2019.
WTTC officials said the decline was due in part to long and damaging travel restrictions designed to halt the spread of COVID-19 and the resulting economic losses. The U.S. retained its top spot by leaning on domestic tourism, as international travel remains depressed.
“Our report shows the resilience of the Travel & Tourism sector, despite the impact of travel restrictions around the world which failed to halt the spread of the virus,” WTTC CEO Julia Simpson said.
“Despite a challenging macro environment, Travel & Tourism has bounced back,” Simpson continued. “The world, with some exceptions, is travelling again. And we are seeing a resurgence in business travel. Over the next 10 years, Travel & Tourism growth will outstrip the global economy.”
The report found that China and Germany rounded out the Top 3 most powerful tourism markets.
As for the top international destinations, France overtook Spain, China, and the U.S. to grab first place in terms of traveler spending. Overall, the WTTC predicts that China could overtake the U.S. to become the world’s biggest travel and tourism market by 2032.
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