Four Asia-Pacific markets account for one-fifth of global travel spending

Overnight visitors from Mainland China, the Republic of Korea, Japan and Taiwan now account for 18.5 per cent of global travel spending in the world’s top 200 cities, up from just 11 per cent a decade ago.

This is according to Mastercard’s new breakout report, Global Destination Cities Index (GDCI): Origins, which ranks where the most international travellers to the world’s 200 most popular tourism cities and regional centres are from.

Business and leisure travellers from the top 10 Origin markets comprise nearly half (49.1 per cent) of all overnight international visitor arrivals to the 200 destinations and 48.4 per cent of their total expenditure, demonstrating the potential of the insights to help shape decision-making for governments, merchants and the global travel industry, which contributed a record US$8.8 trillion and 319 million jobs last year.

The top 10 origin markets are the US, Mainland China, Germany, the UK, France, South Korea, Japan, Canada, the Russian Federation and Taiwan.

“What’s most fascinating for us from an Asia Pacific perspective is the fact that, not only has this region’s spend contribution to global travel expenditure nearly doubled in the last decade, but we’ve barely scratched the surface in terms of percentages of the populations that are travelling overseas,” said Mastercard’s senior VP for data & services, Asia Pacific Rupert Naylor. 

“This is particularly significant in mainland China, India and Indonesia – three of the most populated places on Earth – where only one, 0.5 and 1.7 overnight international trips were made per 100 residents to the 200 destinations in 2018, demonstrating the vast and still emerging potential of tourism and travel from these markets. This represents significant opportunities for local governments and businesses to leverage these insights to better plan and promote their travel, tourism and retail offerings.” 

The figures contrast sharply with Australia, where 42.7 overnight international trips per 100 residents were made to the 200 cities last year.


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