India jumps to 8th place as top spender in 2023 as APAC reopens to tourism: Report

France consolidated its position as the world’s most visited destination in 2023 with 100 million international tourist arrivals. Spain was second with 85 million.

As Asia and the Pacific consolidates its recovery from the impacts of the pandemic, the list of top ten spenders on international tourism for 2023 is revealed. Making to top ten spenders list are Canada, Italy, India, the Russian Federation and the Republic of Korea, says a UN Tourism report.

Notably, India jumped to 8th place, from 14th in 2019, confirming the growing importance of the country as a source market, while Italy rose from 10th to 7th position. 

China has recovered its position as top spender on international tourism in 2023 In 2022, the list of top spenders was headed by the United States. France, Spain and USA took the top spots for most-visited destinations.

Chinese expenditure on travel abroad reached USD 196.5 billion in 2023, ahead of the United States (USD 150 billion), Germany (USD 112 billion), the United Kingdom (USD 110 billion) and France (USD 49 billion).

UN Tourism report says that France consolidated its position as the world’s most visited destination in 2023 with 100 million international tourist arrivals. Spain was second with 85 million, followed by the United States (66 million), Italy (57 million) and Türkiye, which closed the top five with 55 million international tourists.  

Completing the top ten 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. 

On the side on international tourism receipts, the ranking is led by the United States, earning USD 176 billion in 2023, followed by Spain (USD 92 billion), the United Kingdom (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.

Global recovery

As per 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 both 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, says the report.