Destinations Asia

15 Countries with Biggest Gains in Tourism Receipts in 2013


Jan 20, 2014 1:30 pm

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Growth in tourism receipts, or the money spent by international tourists, can be impacted by the type of visitors and internal factors influencing travel costs. But the dominance of Asian countries at the top of the list suggests it’s a combination of both driven the region’s growing popularity.

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Tourists travel with tour guides down a canal with the floating markets. Dennis Jarvis / Flickr

Thailand experienced the greatest growth in tourism receipts, or money spent by international tourists, of any country in 2013.

Thailand’s tourism receipts grew 27.5 percent, according to provisional statistics released in the United Nations World Tourism Organization‘s 2013 Tourism Barometer.

Thailand also posted significant gains in tourism receipts in 2012. Despite its rapid growth, it made less money than the major European destinations and the United States that year.

Asia Leads Growth in Tourism Receipts

Three of the five countries with the greatest growth of tourism receipts in 2013 are located in Asia. Japan and Hong Kong each saw expenditures by international inbound visitors grow more than 20 percent last year.

Asia experienced the greatest relative growth in international tourist arrivals in 2013, up six percent from the previous year. However, arrival growth does not directly correspond into greater tourism receipts on the country level.

Tourist arrivals to Hong Kong only grew 8 percent last year, but traveler spend increased 20.6 percent. Similarly, tourist arrivals to Saudi Arabia dropped 7.2 percent last year, but traveler spend increased 11 percent.

Growth of tourism receipts can be impacted by the type of tourists arriving that year and the cost of travel within a country.

Country Growth of International Tourism Receipts in 2013 (%) Growth of International Tourism Arrivals in 2013 (%)
Thailand 27.5% 19.6%
Japan 24.6% 24%
Hong Kong (China) 20.6% 8%
Philippines 19.6% 11.2%
Russia 15.3% 10.5%
Greece 14.8% 15.5%
United Kingdom 14.7% 5.4%
Turkey 12% 10.5%
India 12% 4.1%
Taiwan 12% 9.7%
Indonesia 11.9% 9.1%
Saudi Arabia 10.9% -7.2%
Macao (China) 10.7% 5.4%
United States 10.5% 4.2%

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