In 2008, 924 million tourists travelled abroad. That is over 100,000 people
every hour. Three-quarters of these journeys started in a high or upper-middle
income country. Remarkably 40 per cent of these journeys ended in a
developing country destination. International tourists are significantly better
than development agencies at spending money in poor countries. In 2007
tourists spent US$295 billion in developing countries – almost three times the level of official development assistance. It is for this reason that tourism has
been described as the world’s largest voluntary transfer of resources from rich
people to poor people. In 2013, Travel & Tourism’s total
contribution to the global economy rose to 9.5% of global GDP (US $7 trillion) growing faster than other significant sectors such as financial and business services, transport and manufacturing.