DestinationsParis comes out on top, while Beijing, Shanghai and Macau are on the up and coming.

These are the world’s most powerful tourism cities

Paris has the world’s biggest tourism economy.
Paris has the world’s biggest tourism economy. Photo Credit: Cheryl Teo

Paris has been named the world’s “most powerful tourist destination”, but China’s powerhouse cities, Beijing and Shanghai, are closing in on the French capital as the biggest generators of tourist-associated  spending.

In a study of 195 countries, the World Travel & Tourism Council is projecting Paris will drop to 3rd place over the next decade, even though the economic value of its tourism industry will rise to US$49 billion in terms of direct GDP contribution to the city.

The report, sponsored by Visa and researched in partnership with Oxford Economics, analysed key indicators such as Travel & Tourism’s contribution to GDP, employment and traveller spend.

Beijing is currently ranked 2nd behind Paris at US$33 billion, That number will grow to US$77 billion over the next 10 years, the WTTC says.

Shanghai is placed at No. 4 with a tourism sector worth US$30 billion in 2022. The WTTC expects that number will rise to US$71 billion by 2032, placing it second.

“Major cities such as London, Paris and New York will remain global powerhouses but over the next few years, Beijing, Shanghai, and Macau will be moving up the list of top city destinations,” said Julia Simpson, WTTC president & CEO. 

The top 10 powerhouses globally measured by tourism’s contribution to GDP: 
1. Paris: $35.65 billion
2. Beijing: $32.62 billion
3. Orlando: $31.1 billion
4. Shanghai: $29.69 billion
5. Las Vegas: $22.9
6. New York: $21.09 billion
7. Tokyo: $17.97 billion
8. Mexico City: $16.7 billion
9. London: $14.92 billion
10. Guangzhou: $13.15 billion

The top five cities with biggest international travellers spend in 2022 were:
1.  Dubai - $29.42bn
2.  Doha - $16.79bn
3.  London - $16.07bn
4.  Macau - $15.58bn
5.  Amsterdam - $13.59bn
6.  Istanbul - $13.13bn
7.  Barcelona - $12.73bn
8.  New York - $12.45bn
9.  Singapore - $10.97bn
10.  Paris - $9.76bn

In 2032, WTTC predicts the top five cities with biggest international traveller spend will change to be:
1.  Hong Kong - $52.06bn (up 38 places from 2022)
2.  Macau - $43.14bn (up two places from 2022)
3.  Dubai - $42.98bn (down two places from 2022)
4.  Singapore - $37.43bn (up five places from 2022)
5.  Bangkok - $33.45bn (up seven places from 2022)
6.  Doha - $31.63bn (down four places from 2022)
7.  Tokyo $25.44bn (up 30 places from 2022)
8.  New York $21.73bn (no change from 2022)
9.  Amsterdam $21.53bn (down four places from 2022)
10.  Shanghai - $21.3bn (up 11 places from 2022)

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