Zurab Pololikashvili, secretary-general, UNWTO, remarked, “Sustained growth in tourism has been instrumental in the economic recovery of many countries in Europe and around the world, contributing to job creation, economic growth and a healthy balance of payments.”
According to the report, EU countries earned EUR342 billion (USD414 billion) in international tourism receipts in 2016 (31 percent of the world’s total), making a significant contribution to their balance of payments, the difference in total value between payments into and out of a country over a specific period.
International passenger transport (rendered to non-residents) is estimated to have generated another EUR67 billion (USD81 billion), resulting in total export earnings from international tourism of EUR409 billion (USD495 billion).
EU destinations welcomed 538 million international overnight visitors in 2017, making up 40 percent of the world total.
Preliminary results for 2017 also indicate international tourist arrivals (overnight visitors) grew by eight percent in the EU, to reach 538 million, or 40 percent of the world’s arrivals.