OECD Tourism Trends and Policies

2076-7773 (online)
2076-7765 (print)
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Building on the work of the OECD Tourism Committee, within the OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs and Local Development, this periodic report is an international reference and benchmark on how effectively countries are supporting competitiveness, innovation and growth in tourism, through thematic chapters and 51 country-specific policy and statistical profiles.

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OECD Tourism Trends and Policies 2016

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09 Mar 2016
9789264253209 (EPUB) ; 9789264245990 (PDF) ;9789264245976(print)

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Tourism Trends and Policies, published biennially, analyses tourism performance and major policy trends, initiatives and reforms across 50 OECD countries and partner economies, providing up-to-date tourism data and analysis. The report is an international reference and benchmark on how effectively countries are supporting competitiveness, innovation and growth in tourism.

Tourism has successfully weathered the effects of the global economic crisis, and active tourism policies have played an essential role in supporting a competitive and sustainable tourism economy. The 2016 edition captures these ongoing trends - presenting standardised data covering domestic, inbound and outbound tourism, enterprises and employment, and internal tourism consumption - and reports on how seamless transport can enhance the tourism experience, as well as the opportunities, challenges and implications of the sharing economy for tourism.

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  • Preface

    Notwithstanding the challenges posed by global economic conditions, geopolitical turmoil, and natural disasters, tourism continues to demonstrate remarkable resilience. Tourism remains one of the largest and fastest growing sectors in the world economy and a valuable source of job creation, economic growth, export revenue and domestic value added.

  • Foreword

    OECD Tourism Trends and Policies 2016, the flagship publication of the OECD Tourism Committee, is undertaken with support from the European Commission. The report highlights key reforms in tourism organisation and governance, and analyses a range of issues high on the tourism policy agenda, providing a global perspective with the inclusion of 50 OECD countries and partner economies.

  • Reader's guide

    This reader’s guide provides information and methodological notes on the data sources used in this book: International Recommendations for Tourism Statistics 2008, Tourism Satellite Account: Recommended Methodological Framework 2008 and Balance of Payments and International Investment Position Manual.

  • Executive summary

    Tourism continues to demonstrate its key role in generating economic activity, employment and export revenues in the OECD area, where it directly contributes, on average, 4.1% of GDP, 5.9% of employment and 21.3% of service exports. Tourism offers strong potential to support job-rich growth and at around 80%, tourism exports also generate higher than average domestic value added. International tourist arrivals surpassed 1.1 billion in 2014 (World Tourism Organization), following a resurgence in arrivals to OECD countries (6.4%), which increased at a faster rate than the global average (4.2%). Notwithstanding this, arrivals to emerging economies are projected to grow at double the rate of that in advanced tourism economies up to 2030.

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Active policies for tourism

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    • Tourism trends and policy priorities

      This chapter covers recent trends in tourism and associated developments in government policy. It is based on responses to a policy and statistical survey of OECD member countries and partner economies. The chapter outlines the economic importance of tourism and sets out the role of government in promotion and product development, and in supporting a competitive and sustainable tourism industry. The effectiveness of governance structures and funding issues are considered. Tourism policy priorities, reforms and developments are analysed and examples of country practices highlighted.

    • Seamless transport to enhance the visitor experience

      This chapter examines the interdependent relationship between transport and tourism, the importance of seamless connections at transport hubs, and key factors to enhance the visitor experience, including: convenient multimodal transport options to access destinations; efficient connections between interregional and local modes; integrated ticketing; multilingual user information and way-finding; baggage transfer and storage options, and; ease of access for travellers with limited mobility. The chapter encourages tourism and transport policy-makers to work more closely together to design transport services and infrastructure that respond to the needs of all travellers. It concludes that if transport and tourism development strategies are not well synchronised, destinations may not be able to accommodate actual or potential visitor numbers and flows, and mobility around the destination will be restricted, potentially decreasing the quality of visitor experiences.

    • Policies for the tourism sharing economy

      This chapter discusses what the growth of the sharing economy means for the tourism sector and assesses key policy implications. The rapid growth of peer-to-peer and shared usage platforms is creating new marketplaces in areas as diverse as transportation, accommodation, travel and dining experiences. These developments present opportunities for governments to re-think how tourists experience their country and how citizens can benefit from participating in the sharing economy, but also pose challenges for established operators and raise broader policy questions in areas such as consumer protection, taxation and regulation. In a complex, fast-moving environment, it is imperative that tourism policy makers quickly grasp the key issues surrounding the sharing economy and position their jurisdictions for success. This chapter is intended to provide a starting point in that regard and offer guidance to policy makers on how to move forward.

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    • Australia

      The Australian economy has recorded 24 years of economic growth, which is expected to continue despite adjustments to account for the end of the boom in resources investment. The country’s many natural attractions provide a competitive advantage. Deloitte Consulting has recognised tourism as one of five industries that has the potential to drive Australia’s prosperity into the future.

    • Austria

      According to the Tourism Satellite Account, the direct value-added effects of tourism in 2014 totalled EUR 18.1 billion, or 5.5% of GDP. About 270 500 full-time job equivalents could be directly attributed to tourism related industries in 2013, contributing 7.3% to overall employment in Austria.

    • Belgium

      In Belgium, tourism is an exclusive competency of the three regions: Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels. This section provides a national overview of tourism in the country, as does the statistical annex, followed by presentations of the governance and policy initiatives of the Flanders Region and Wallonia.

    • Canada

      Tourism’s direct contribution to Canada’s GDP remains stable at approximately 2% or CAD 34.4 billion in 2014. One in 11 jobs (1.6 million) in Canada is associated with the visitor economy, with over 627 000 directly supporting tourism. Canada’s domestic tourism represented 81% of the tourism revenues in 2014.

    • Chile

      Tourism in Chile has experienced a sustained rise in recent years and has become one of the sectors delivering the fastest growth and employment generation.

    • Czech Republic

      Tourism’s share of GDP in the Czech Republic has been increasing over the last two years from 2.7% in 2012 to 2.9 % in 2013. The number of people employed in tourism is 231 288 in total (2013). The sector’s share of total employment has remained relatively stable at around 4.5 % over the past five years.

    • Denmark

      In 2013 tourism contributed 1.7% of Denmark’s Gross Value Added. If derived effects are included, the contribution is 3.3% (DKK 92 billion). In the same year, the tourism sector accounted for 3.6% of total exports.

    • Estonia

      Tourism contributes directly around 4.6% of Estonia’s GDP, rising to 6.6% if indirect impacts are also included. Export revenues from tourism amount to approximately EUR 1.7 billion annually, equivalent to 10% of total exports of goods and services in 2014.

    • Finland

      Finland’s economy faced problems in 2015 leading to new policies of fiscal tightening and structural reform. Within this context, tourism is seen as an important sector capable of supporting the creation of new jobs. Finland’s tourism comparative strengths lie in the contrast between its modern culture and its nature-based cultural heritage, the meeting of east and west, technology, the Finnish way of life and creativity.

    • France

      Tourism plays a major role in the French economy. Accommodation and food services alone account for 2.5% of total added value in the national accounts. Tourism is also stimulating a wide range of activities and spending, including transport and leisure. The overall impact of tourism (as measured by internal tourism consumption) amounts to over 7% of GDP.

    • Germany

      Tourism is a growing economic sector in Germany, generating close to EUR 100 billion in Gross Value Added, equivalent to 4.4% of total GVA. Some 2.9 million workers are directly employed in the tourism industry, equivalent to 7% of total employment.

    • Greece

      Tourism is an important economic sector in Greece. Tourism directly contributed EUR 8.5 billion to the Greek economy in 2013, equivalent to 5.3% of GDP. Tourism is also an important source of employment, directly employing around 320 000 people, or 9.1% of total employment.

    • Hungary

      According to the latest Tourism Satellite Account (2011), the direct contribution of tourism is around EUR 4.4 billion (5.5% of the country’s GDP), employing 331 000 people (9% of the workforce). If indirect contributions are also included, tourism accounts for around 9% of GDP with more than 400 000 jobs being related to tourism.

    • Iceland

      Tourism has been among the fastest-growing industries in Iceland in recent years and has established itself as the third pillar of the Icelandic economy. Domestic demand and growth in tourism-related services have demonstrated recovery since the crisis in 2010, supported by a competitive real exchange rate.

    • Ireland

      Tourism is one of Ireland’s most important economic sectors and has significant potential to play a further role in Ireland’s economic renewal. In 2014, spending by visitors to Ireland increased, with total tourism and travel earnings from overseas visitors (excluding airfares and ferry costs) growing by 8.5% to EUR 3.7 billion. There was particularly strong growth in expenditure by holiday visitors from North America (14.5% to EUR 665 million) and from Great Britain (8.3% to EUR 338 million).

    • Israel

      Tourism contributes 2.8% to Israel’s GDP and about 3.5% of total employment, counting only direct tourism jobs. The combined total of direct and indirect tourism jobs is some 210 000, or just over 7% of total employment.

    • Italy

      Data for 2014 shows a steady and positive tourism trend in Italy. International travel receipts grew at a stronger pace (3.6%) than Italian exports in general (2%), rising from EUR 33.1 billion in 2013 to EUR 34.2 billion in 2014, and confirming the leading role of tourism in the Italian economy. From a medium-term perspective, international travel expenditure has also demonstrated steady growth (from 33% of total tourism expenditure in 2007 to 39.6% in 2014).

    • Japan

      The number of international visitors to Japan increased by 29.4% to reach a record high of 13.4 million people in 2014. This follows a decade where international visitors grew from 5.21 million in 2003 to exceed 10 million for first time in 2013. International visitors arrivals continued to rise in 2015, with an estimated 16.3 million arrivals between January to October 2015 (48.2% increase compared to the same period of the previous year).

    • Korea

      In 2014 the number of international visitors to Korea stood at a record 14.2 million, an increase of 16.6% compared with 12.2 million in 2013. As inbound tourism has increased, the contribution of tourism to the development of the national economy has also gradually expanded. China is the most important inbound market for Korea, accounting for 6.1 million visitors, followed by Japan with 2.3 million visitors. The average expenditure of foreign tourists visiting Korea in 2014 was USD 1 606 per person. Expenditure of tourists from the Middle East exceeds USD 3 000 per person. Although the expenditure of Chinese tourists is lower at USD 2 095, the greater number of visitors makes China the most attractive market in economic terms. Japanese tourists have the lowest level of expenditure, at USD 999.

    • Luxembourg

      Tourism is an important economic sector in Luxembourg, directly generating 1.8% of GDP in 2014. In aggregate, the direct and indirect impact of tourism accounts for 4.5% of GDP and 15 000 jobs, or 6% of employment.

    • Mexico

      Tourism is recognised as an important economic sector in Mexico which is highly resilient, flexible and adaptable. Tourism accounted for approximately 8.7% of national GDP and 5.9% of national employment in 2013.

    • Netherlands

      The importance of domestic and inbound tourism for the Dutch economy is increasing, with tourism growth exceeding the growth of the total economy in the last five years. In 2014, tourist spending in the Dutch economy grew by 4.1 % to EUR 68.3 billion. This accounts for 3.7% of Dutch GDP in 2014, compared to 3.5 % in 2013. Tourism related employment also grew by 2.5 % to 606 000 jobs in 2014, which equals 366 000 full-time equivalents (or 5.2% of total employment).

    • New Zealand

      Tourism directly accounted for NZD 8.3 billion or 4% of New Zealand’s GDP in the year ended March 2014, and indirectly contributed an additional NZD 6.5 billion or 3.1% of GDP. Tourism is New Zealand’s largest service export earner. It directly employs 94 100 full-time equivalents (4.7% of the workforce) and generates NZD 1.8 billion in goods and services tax revenue.

    • Norway

      In 2014, Norway’s GDP stood at USD 499.7 billion. In 2011, the Norwegian tourism industry employed almost 150 000 people, and tourism represented 3.2% of total GDP. Annual wealth creation attributable to tourism was NOK 70 billion in 2013. Wealth creation in the tourism industry increased by 24% between 2010 and 2013, and doubled in the preceding ten-year period. However, despite the relatively high absolute growth in the Norwegian tourism industry, the share of total value creation has decreased from 6% in 2001 to 5% in 2013.

    • Poland

      The total value of the tourism economy in Poland was estimated at PLN 87.4 billion in 2014, 11.7% down on 2013. This equates to a contribution of 5.1% to Poland’s GDP.

    • Portugal

      After a series of structural reforms, the Portuguese economy started to recover in 2013 and in 2014 registered positive output growth of 0.9 %. Employment growth in the private sector has followed an increase in consumer confidence and private consumption.

    • Slovak Republic

      In 2014, international travel receipts in the Slovak Republic reached EUR 1 941 million, up 0.8% on the previous year. This amounts to a contribution of 2.6% of GDP and 31.8% of exports of services.

    • Slovenia

      Tourism GDP in Slovenia amounted to EUR 1.7 billion in 2009, representing 4.9% of total GDP. If direct and indirect tourism consumption are taken together, they contributed EUR 3.0 billion, representing 8.5% of total GDP.

    • Spain

      Tourism is a key economic sector in Spain and contributes around 11% of GDP to the national economy – this is estimated to rise to 15.2% if indirect impacts are also included (WTTC). Tourism is also an important source of jobs, with 2.2 million people employed in tourism industries or 12.7% of total employment.

    • Sweden

      In 2014 Sweden’s GDP was SEK 3 907 billion. Tourism’s share of GDP is 2.8%, and has been growing steadily for the last ten years and is an important contributor to the economy and the labour market in Sweden.

    • Switzerland

      Tourism is an important pillar of the Swiss economy. In 2013, around 168 000 people worked in the tourist industry (full-time equivalents), corresponding to 4.3% of total employment. Tourism contributed 2.6% of the Swiss GDP in 2013.

    • Turkey

      Turkey has seen a significant and rapid growth in tourism over the last ten years. Between 2002 and 2014 international tourist arrivals to Turkey increased by over 210%, while tourism receipts increased by over 145% over the period 2003-14. The direct contribution of travel and tourism to GDP in 2014 was USD 34.3 billion, accounting for 4.3% of total GDP.

    • United Kingdom

      Tourism is a major part of the United Kingdom economy. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) Tourism Satellite Account shows that in 2014 tourism directly contributed an estimated GBP 59.6 billion in gross value added (GVA), or around 4% of the total United Kingdom economy. Economic analysis by Deloitte in 2013 suggests that when indirect economic effects are included, GVA for 2014 could be as high as GBP 133.6 billion, or 9% of GDP.

    • United States

      Travel and tourism is a major contributor to the United States economy, accounting for 2.6% of GDP. Travel and tourism-related exports accounted for 31% of all United States services exports and 9% of all United States exports in 2014.

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    • Brazil

      Brazil welcomed 6.4 million international tourists in 2014, up 10.6% on the previous year. Total revenue from international tourists visiting Brazil amounted to USD 6.8 billion in 2014, an increase of 2% over 2013, which is a new record for the country. The main source markets were Argentina with 1.7 million visitors (27.1% of the total), followed by the United States (10.2%), Chile (5.2%), Paraguay and France.

    • Bulgaria

      Bulgaria welcomed a total of 7.3 million international tourists (excluding transit passengers) in 2014, an increase of 6% over the previous year. Other European Union countries are the most important source markets for Bulgaria, with a share of 60.6 % in 2014, with Greece, Romania and Germany among the main countries of origin.

    • Colombia

      Tourism contributed COP 14.1 billion to the Colombia economy in 2014, equivalent to 2.7% of total GDP. It is the country’s biggest service export and the third largest sector in the economy, behind oil and coal. Tourism directly supports 1.8 million jobs, or 8% of total employment.

    • Costa Rica

      Tourism in Costa Rica has been growing firmly since 2009. In 2014 the country received 2.5 million international tourists, an increase of 4.1% over 2013 and more than 31.4% compared with 2009.

    • Croatia

      Croatia has a service-based economy with the tertiary sector worth HRK 329 billion in 2014, equivalent to 70% of GDP. Tourism is a key factor in the positive trend in the international trade of services. International tourist arrivals and overnights in commercial accommodation facilities increased by 6.1% and 2.7% respectively in 2014, compared to 2013. Tourism revenue increased by 2.8% compared over the same period, amounting to EUR 7.2 billion in 2014.

    • Egypt

      International visitor arrivals to Egypt reached 9.9 million in 2014, generating a total of USD 7.2 billion in revenues. Travel receipts constituted the fifth largest provider of foreign currency. Tourism directly and indirectly contributed 11.3% to GDP in Egypt in the fiscal year 2013/14.

    • Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM)

      Tourism directly contributed MKD 6.4 billion or 1.3% of GDP in 2013, and accounted for 3.3% of total employment. Estimates for 2014 indicate the direct contribution to GDP to be MKD 7.3 billion (1.4% of GDP), rising to MKD 27.4 billion or 5.2% of GDP when the wider effects from investment, the supply chain and induced income impacts are taken into account. Tourism supported an estimated 33 000 jobs in 2014, equivalent to 4.7% of total employment (WTTC).

    • India

      Tourism directly contributed INR 3.7 trillion to India’s economy in 2012, equivalent to 3.7% of GDP, and employed 28.8 million people, or 5.3% of total employment.

    • Latvia

      Tourism is considered to be one of Latvia’s main drivers of economic development, an important source of export revenue and a key contributor to GDP. In 2014, tourism directly contributed 3.8% of Latvia’s total GDP of EUR 24.1 billion. Tourism exports increased by 4.4% over 2013 to reach EUR 935.7 million in 2014, representing 6.7% of total exports. The tourism sector provided almost 75 000 jobs and accounted for 8.5% to total employment in Latvia in 2014.

    • Lithuania

      Lithuania received 2.1 million incoming tourists in 2014, an increase of 2.5% on 2013. The main source markets are neighbouring countries Poland, Belarus, Russia, Latvia, along with the Scandinavian countries, Germany and the United Kingdom. International visitors generated EUR 1.2 billion in international receipts in 2014, up 5.2% on 2013.

    • Malta

      The year 2014 marked the fifth consecutive record year for inbound tourism to Malta, reaching 1.7 million tourists. This reflects an increase of 6.8% or 107 656 more tourists when compared to year 2013. The United Kingdom remained Malta’s main source tourism market with a share of 28.9%. This was followed by Italy with a share of 15.5%. Germany ranked third with a share of 8.5%.

    • Morocco

      Tourism is one of the main economic drivers in Morocco. The Moroccan tourism sector performed well in 2014 with international tourist arrivals reaching 10.3 million, up 2.4% year on year. The sector employed 505 000 people (4.7% of total jobs) and contributed MAD 61.9 billion to GDP (6.7% of total GDP). Internal tourism consumption amounted to MAD 105.5 billion.

    • Philippines

      In 2014 tourism directly contributed PHP 982.3 billion (approximately USD 22.1 billion) to the economy of the Philippines, or 7.8% of GDP. The average growth rate in tourism’s contribution to GDP during the period 2011 to 2014 was 13.1%. It directly supported 4.8 million jobs, accounting for 12.5% of total employment.

    • Romania

      Romania welcomed 8.4 million international arrivals in 2014, an increase of 5.3% on 2013. Of these, 1.9 million international visitors stayed overnight in commercial accommodation (up 11.5% on 2013), recording a total of 3.8 million overnights (up 8.4%). Germany, Hungary, Italy and France were the main source markets in 2014. Domestic tourists made 15.8 million overnight trips in 2014, down 3.2% on 2013. Romania recorded USD 2.2 billion in inbound travel receipts in 2014, a 7.9% increase on 2013.

    • Russian Federation

      In 2014 Russia recorded 32.4 million international arrivals. This is 5% more international visitors than in 2013. The total number of people visiting Russia for leisure related tourism purposes decreased by 3%, but visits for business purposes increased by 8%. At the same time, there was a significant decrease in outbound tourism from Russia in 2014, falling by 15.1% on the previous year.

    • South Africa

      Tourism’s direct contribution to South Africa’s GDP grew from ZAR 93.5 billion in 2012 to ZAR 103.5 billion in 2013. The percentage contribution of tourism to GDP has remained stable for the past two reporting periods at 2.9%. Tourism directly supported 655 609 jobs in 2013, or 4.4% of total employment – up from 645 755 in 2012.

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