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TTC Special: Top tourist cities worldwide generated over $625bn contribution to GDP in 2017

TTC Special: Top tourist cities worldwide generated over $625bn contribution to GDP in 2017

Shanghai skyline in sunny day, China. Photo: Iakov Kalinin/123rf

By F.Martin

The annual cities report of World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) is headed by two Chinese cities.

The list showed the 72 cities most successful tourism cities in the world which together generated over $625bn contribution to GDP in 2017.

The ten top are Shanghai (US$35bn), Beijing ($32.5bn), Paris ($28bn), Orlando ($24.8bn), New York ($24.8bn), Tokyo ($21.7bn), Bangkok ($21.3bn), Mexico City ($19.7bn), Las Vegas ($19.5bn) and Shenzhen, also chinese, ($19bn).

WTTC released its annual Cities Report at the WTTC Asia Leaders Forum in Macau, SAR.  The world’s top ten cities in terms of job creation are Jakarta, Beijing, Mexico City, Shanghai, Bangkok, Chongqing, Delhi, Mumbai, Ho Chi Minh City and Shenzhen.

“With 54% of the world’s population living in urban areas, cities have become global economic hubs, driving growth and innovation. They attract huge quantities of people who travel to experience their culture, do business, and live. This growth has also resulted in a rise in city tourism – a trend which is forecasted to maintain momentum”, WTTC President & CEO Gloria Guevara commented.

Guevara added that the report highlights the crucial importance of cities to Travel & Tourism worldwide, and likewise how vital this sector is to the economy.

Over half a billion trips are made to cities annually representing 45% of global international travel.”

According to the highlights Chinese cities have matured rapidly over the past decade.

China cities  are forecast to continue dominating the growth charts between 2017 and 2027. Shanghai, for example, went from being the 8th largest city in terms of Travel & Tourism GDP in 2007 to become the largest in 2017 – a position it is expected to maintain until 2027.

Meanwhile, the rapid growth of Guangzhou will take it to 4th place, and Chongqing is forecast to join the top 15 for the first time. This comes following a period of sustained infrastructure development, including investments in airports and extensive product development.

But El Cairo was the fastest growing city in 2017 in terms of Travel & Tourism GDP contribution (34.4%), followed by Macau (14.2%).

Four of the five fastest growing cities over the past ten years are located in China: Chongqing, Chengdu, Shanghai, Guangzhou.

“With such good performance of cities around the world, and the supreme growth experienced by cities in Travel & Tourism, comes huge opportunities”, Guevara said.

The Report illustrates the strength of Travel & Tourism and its economic impact not only at a macro-level but at the grassroots where it is relied upon every day. A vibrant tourism sector can stimulate investment, preserve and promote cultural heritage, and catalyse new activities such as research, technology or the creative economy.