Government AffairsWTTC studies travel's economic impact on cities

Report: Macau is the world city most reliant on tourism

Macau led the way with international visitor spending in 2018
Macau led the way with international visitor spending in 2018

LONDON - A new report from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) has revealed that Macau is the city most dependent on tourism with more than half of its economy directly supported by visitation.

Hong Kong saw the largest international visitor spending in 2018 (US$43.9bn), followed by Macau (US$36.1bn), Dubai (27.9bn), Bangkok (US$23.4bn) and Tokyo (US$21.7bn).

International visitors to Singapore spent US$19.9bn.

The City Travel and Tourism Impact report found cities suffer more than non-urban areas from dips in visitation.

Cities which are over-reliant on domestic or international demand are more exposed to economic and geo-political risks.

Direct Travel & Tourism GDP across 73 cities grew by 3.6% in 2018, above the overall city economy growth of 3.0%. Six of the top ten largest cities in terms of the size of Travel & Tourism sector (as measured by direct Travel & Tourism GDP) are in Asia-Pacific. They are Shanghai (1), Beijing (3), Macau (4), Bangkok (7), Tokyo (9) and Shenzhen (10).

Three of the fastest growing cities were Chinese, namely Chongqing, Chengdu and Shanghai.

The report found that international visitor spending accounted for 45% of tourism spending across cities. In comparison, international visitor spending accounted for 29% of total visitor spending (combining urban and non-urban destinations).

"International visitor spending is often more important to cities than it is to countries as a whole," the report says, adding that "cities which are more reliant on international demand and/or particular source markets may be vulnerable to external disruptions."

Along with Macau, other cities most reliant on tourism are  Cancun, Marrakech and Las Vegas.

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