Tourism is a rapidly growing industry and has far-reaching economic and environmental impact across the world.

Tourism trends

The growth of tourism

In 2010, 940 million people were recorded as arriving in a country from abroad because of tourism. This is worth $919 billion dollars, making tourism one of the world's largest industries. (source: World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO)

Growth of tourismGrowth of tourism

The graph shows the growth in tourism measured by international arrivals.

Tourism is also one of the world's fastest-growing industries. In 2010, the Middle East and Asia had the greatest growth of tourists. Europe still attracts the largest number of tourists - nearly 500 million in 2010.

International tourist arrivals (in millions)

Asia and the Pacific55.882.0110.1153.6184.1180.9203.8
Middle east9.613.724.136.355.252.960.3

The tourism industry, therefore, is very important to economic growth as well as the environment.

Tourism can help a country's economy and infrastructure. For example, it provides jobs. Some countries such as the Caribbean have tourism as their main source of income.


Study the tables above.

Describe, in detail, the pattern of international tourist arrivals.

  • The tables show that tourism has increased in all areas between 1990 and 2010.
  • The largest increase in tourist arrivals is in Europe, which increased from 261.5 million people in 1990 to 476.6 million people in 2010.
  • The most popular place to visit in 2010 was Europe, with 476.6 million people.
  • The least popular place to visit in 2010 was Africa with 49.5 million people.