New Internationalist

The Facts

Issue 142

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TOURISM [image, unknown] The facts

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The FACTS

The global picture
Tourism has become one of the largest items in international trade - and it continues to grow as travellers from Western countries are tempted by ever more exotic destinations. On this page we include some of the basic facts and figures of international travel.

A third dimension

Developing countries are now the destinations of 17 percent of international tourists. Indicated in the map below are selected countries which received more than 300,000 visitors in 1982. The income categories in the table follow the World Bank’s classification.

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Low-income countries Visits
India 1,288,162
China 764,497
Pakistan 313,600
Sri Lanka 407,230

Lower middle-income Visits
Thailand 2,218,429
Jordan 2,075,416
Morocco 1,815,408
Egypt 1,423,133
Turkey 1,390,522
Tunisia 1,355,129
Colombia 1,127,662
Philippines 1,109,870
Syria 745,855
Jamaica 467,763
Indonesia 592,046
Peru 403,000
Costa Rica 371,582
Kenya 361,801
Dominican Republic 341,166

Upper middle-income Visits
Mexico 3,767,600
Singapore 2,956,690
Malaysia 2,095,121
Iraq 2,020,109
Brazil 1,146,881
Korea (S) 1,145,044
Argentina 1,039,674
Algeria 970,000
Uruguay 621,732

Source: WTO Regional Statistics 1983


The big spenders

The graph shows international tourist expenditure for major Western countries. But as the table indicates, some of the smaller countries are spending more per head of population.

International tourism expenditure
(per head of population)

1 Norway $447
2 Austria $366
3 Switzerland $346
4 W. Germany $264
5 Denmark $260
6 Holland $237
7 Sweden $228
8 New Zealand $168
9 Israel $163
10 Finland $131
11 Canada $130
12 Australia $121
13 UK $106
14 France $95
15 USA $53
16 Japan $34

Who goes where

Geographical location, language and historical connections all play their part in directing Western tourists to Third World countries. Here we show the nationalities of visitors to some of the popular destinations in 1982.

Haiti
USA 45%
France 12%
Canada 9%
W. Germany 3%
Italy 2%
UK 1%
Netherlands 1%

Kenya
W. Germany 19%
UK 13%
USA 9%
Switzerland 8%
Italy 6%
France 4%
Canada 2%

Indonesia
Australia 15%
Japan 12%
UK 9%
USA 9%
Holland 6%
Canada 1%
N. Zealand 1%

India
UK 9%
USA 6%
France 5%
W. Germany 4%
Canada 2%
Australia 2%
Japan 2%

Multinational room service

The luxury hotel market around the world is dominated by American chains. This is the ranking of the largest corporations.

Hotels Rooms
1 Holiday Inn 1,740 312,428
2 Sheraton 447 118,584
4 Ramada Inns 613 95,198
5 Hilton Hotels Corp. 240 85,392
6 Trusthouse Forte (UK) 804 74,568
7 Balkantourist (BuIg.) 658 61,207
8 Howard Johnson 515 60,390
9 Quality International 446 53,437
10 Marriot Corporation 115 48,408
11 Club Mediterranee (Fr) 169 48,871
12 Novotel SIEH (Fr) 362 48,253
13 Day Inns ot Austria 322 45,530
14 Intourist (USSR) 173 41,562
15 Intercontinenti 109 39,533
16 Hyatt Hotels 68 37,000
17 Hilton International 90 33,034
18 Westin Hotels 50 27,342
19 Hoteles Agrupados (Sp) 38 19,355
20 Rodeway Inns 152 18,600

Corporations based in US unless stated.

Source: Hotels and Restaurants International.


The pleasure seekers

The majority of international journeys in 1982 were for recreation rather than business.

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A world on the move

The latest estimates for total world travel in 1983

Arrivals   Receipts $m
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AFRICA 6,700.000 2.3% 2,000 2.1%
East 1,200,000   435  
Middle 160,000   65  
North 4,150.000   1,175  
South 390,000   47  
West 800,000   278
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AMERICAS 50,928,000 17.6% 23,261 24.2%
North 33,978,000   13,661  
Central & S. 10,200,000   5,700  
Caribbean 6,750,000   4,000
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E. ASIA & PACIFIC 23,250,000 8.1% 9,300 9.7%
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EUROPE 196,150,000 68.5% 57,000 59.2%
East 30,500,000   1,250  
North 22,450,000   9,750  
South 64,200,000   20,000  
West 78,000,000   25,000
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MIDDLE EAST 7,000,000 2.4% 3,300 3.4%
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SOUTH ASIA 2,450,000 0.9% 1,250 1.3%
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WORLD TOTALS 286,478,000 100.0% 96,211 100.0%

Source: WTO Regional Economic Statistics

World tourism has grown dramatically over the last 30 years. It slowed recently during the recession but started to pick up again in 1983/84.
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