Madrid Spain.- New research from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) reveals that Paris is the world’s leading urban destination, but predicts that it will be overtaken by Beijing by 2032.
The report, sponsored by Visa and researched in association with Oxford Economics, looked at key indicators such as the contribution of travel and tourism to GDP, employment and traveler spending.
The covid-19 had a devastating impact on the sector of Travels and tourism and particularly in big cities around the world as countries closed their borders in response to the pandemic.
When the borders reopened, many leisure travelers traded city visits for less populated destinations such as coastal and rural, but the latest research from the WTTC shows that city breaks are back and growing in popularity.
Paris takes the crown as the world’s most powerful urban destination with a travel and tourism sector worth nearly US$36 trillion by 2022, in terms of direct GDP contribution to the city.
In the next 10 years, WTTC predicts that it will fall to third place, although its value will increase to more than $49 billion.
Beijing is currently the second largest urban destination in the world with a travel and tourism sector worth nearly US$33 billion. However, WTTC predicts that it will overtake Paris in the next 10 years, growing to a staggering $77 billion.
Often dubbed the theme park capital of the world, Orlando’s travel and tourism sector was valued at $31 billion in 2022, but despite predictions suggesting it will grow nearly 50% to $45 billion by 2032, it will fall to become the fourth largest urban destination.
China’s domestic travel and tourism sector has experienced phenomenal growth in the past decade, as the country has invested in new hotels, transportation infrastructure, and new tourist destinations.
This investment in Travels and tourism It forecasts the Shanghai sector, worth nearly $30 billion last year, to double to nearly $71 billion by 2032, to become the world’s second most powerful urban destination.
Las Vegas is the only city on the top 10 list to maintain its place, holding firmly as the 5th largest city destination.
Las Vegas’ travel and tourism sector was worth nearly $23 billion last year and is projected to grow to more than $36 billion by 2032.
Julia Simpson, president and CEO of the WTTC, said that “major cities like London, Paris and New York will remain global powers, but in the coming years, Beijing, Shanghai and Macau will move up the list of top urban destinations.”
“Tourists will always have favorite cities to return to, but as other countries prioritize travel and tourism, we will see new and emerging destinations challenging traditional favourites.”
Other cities outside the top 10 showing promising growth as emerging destinations include the Polish capital Warsaw, which has seen a 14.4% increase in its contribution to GDP in 2022 compared to 2019.
Sanya, the Chinese coastal city that has become a popular tourist destination in recent years as tourists flocked to its stunning beaches, saw growth of 10.2% over the same period. Its travel and tourism sector accounts for an incredible 43.6% of the city’s total economy. Macau’s travel and tourism sector accounts for 40.4% of the city’s total economy.
Orlando and Las Vegas are the only cities currently in the top 10 most powerful urban destinations by sector value, which rely heavily on the sector as part of the overall city economy.
Travel and tourism makes up 20.4% of Orlando’s economy and 16.3% of Las Vegas’ economy. By comparison, Paris’ travel and tourism sector accounts for just 3.5% of the capital’s economy in 2022.