Jan 24, 2023
Tourism: Beijing on track to become world's most powerful city destination by 2032
Jan 24, 2023
While China has now reopened its borders after more than two years of Covid restrictions, the country is forecast to become a major tourist destination in a report from the World Travel and Tourism Council, a global forum that analyzes the economic and social impact of the travel industry. In fact, in less than 10 years, Beijing could become a more powerful city than Paris in terms of tourism.
One way of assessing the popularity and power of a destination would be to analyze the number of international visitors it welcomes each year. But this power can also be framed in terms of other indicators, such as the economic impact of the tourism sector on a city's GDP. From this perspective, Paris comes out on top, with a travel and tourism sector worth $35.65 billion to the city's GDP, according to a report published by the World Tourism and Travel Council, which also analyzed traveler spending and tourism sector employment in 82 cities around the world. As part of this document, compiled in partnership with Visa and Oxford Economics, the WTTC has drawn up its list of the world's "most powerful tourism cities."
Paris currently leads the way in this ranking. But, by 2032, Beijing could well steal the show with economic benefits estimated at $77.28 billion, relegating Paris to third place ($49.15 billion).
The Chinese capital is already poised to make tourism one of its major economic drivers. It is currently the second most powerful city destination in the world ($32.62 billion). China recently announced that it is opening up after more than two years of restrictions due to Covid-19, and the country has not been idle when it comes to structuring its tourism offer. "China’s national Travel & Tourism sector has seen phenomenal growth over the last decade as the country has invested in new hotels, transport infrastructure and new tourist destinations," writes the WTTC.
By 2032, Shanghai is expected to be the second most-powerful city destination, with $70.88 billion in economic impact. And these two behemoths won't be the only destinations making China a top tourist hotspot. The largest city in southern China, Guangzhou, is also expected to rise in prominence, with a travel and tourism sector worth $34.94 billion, while the Macau administrative region could see a greater economic contribution from tourism ($33.33 billion) than New York (United States), Bangkok (Thailand) and Tokyo (Japan). Macau is even forecast to become the second global destination where international visitors spend the most, rising to $43.14 billion (behind Hong Kong). Today, Dubai is the destination with the biggest international traveler spend ($29.42 billion).
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