Macau (MNA) – The special administrative regions of Macau and Hong Kong experience the highest international visitor spending, according to highlights of a report by the World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) annual City Travel & Tourism Impact Report on Monday.
The report noted that Macau as having has the highest reliance on international visitors – with the report including Mainland China visitors as international visitors – with foreign visitor spending making up 97.3 per cent of tourism gross domestic product (GDP) at US$35.6 billion (MOP287.5 billion).
In 2017, a total US$14.3 billion of tourism GDP was generated in Macau, placing it among the top 20 in terms of GDP size and in the top 20 as a share of total city GDP.
Tourism spend in Macau comprises 29.3 per cent of overall city GDP.
In addition, tourism accounts for 27.6 per cent of Macau’s workforce, placing it behind Cancun, which has 37.7 per cent of its population employed in travel and tourism.
Macau was also ranked top three in terms of international visitor arrivals, with 27.9 million visitors arriving in the city as of 2017, which places the city behind Hong Kong and Bangkok.
The city has also experienced a 14.2 per cent growth in tourism GDP – the secodn highest in the world after Cairo – attributable to a rise in international visitor spending, mostly from China, which had rebounded after large declines in 2014 to 2015 due to the Mainland’s anti-corruption crackdown.
Overall, the WTTC report found that there has been a shift from North to South and West to East, with half of the top 20 largest cities in terms of market size and seven of the top 20 by GDP contribution emerging in the Asia-Pacific region.
All of the fastest-growing top ten cities are in emerging cities, including Chongqing, Shanghai, Laos, Tehran and Mumbai.
China leads in terms of this growth, although a slowdown is expected.
The Asia Pacific region generates the largest proportion of tourism GDP at US$2.7 trillion, or 36 per cent of global tourism GDP coming from the region alone.
For Asia-Pacific, 7.5 per cent of tourism growth per annum has taken place over the last decade, and 80 per cent of total expenditure in the region was attributable to leisure.