World's top tourism earners named


The countries that get the most visitors are not necessarily the ones that earn the most money from travelers, according to this year's report from the UN World Tourism Organization. 

That's in part because low costs for food and lodging in some popular countries add up to a lower spend per visitor, while countries that have lower visitor counts but higher costs can rack up the cash register totals.

The U.S., which is third on visitor totals has the highest earnings, at $299 billion, far ahead of number two Spain at $96 billion and number three France at $89 billion. But in visitor numbers, France is first, followed by Spain and the U.S. The anomaly is largely due to visitors to the U.S. staying longer after an expensive flight from somewhere else, while many visitors to France and Spain simply drive across the border for a few days' visit.

The top 10 tourism earners

  1. USA, $299 billion
  2. Spain: $96 billion
  3. France: $86 billion
  4. Thailand: $81 billion
  5. United Kingdom: $72 billion
  6. Italy: $62 billion
  7. Australia: $59 billion
  8. Germany: $57 billion
  9. Macao (China): $51 billion
  10. Japan: $48 billion

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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It would be interesting to see the top earners where the % of GDP is counted. Some countries of course, rely heavily on tourism money. 

Also, is this exclusively from non-domestic tourism ? I guess the US would score highly on domestic spend as it has a great diversity of landscapes, attractions and cities, all within a homogenous language and economic framework.