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Travel and tourism in Africa is booming, growing 5,6 percent in 2018 compared to the global average of 3,9 percent and the broader African economy rate of 3,2 percent. This places Africa as the second-fastest growing tourism region behind only Asia-Pacific.

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) released its annual Cities Report at the WTTC Asia Leaders Forum in Macau, SAR. The Report covers 72 of the world’s most important tourism cities, which together generated over USD625 billion contribution to GDP in 2017 (24,3 percent of global Travel & Tourism GDP).

The world’s top 10 cities in terms of tourism market size are: Shanghai (USD35 billion), Beijing (USD32.,5 billion), Paris (USD28 billion), Orlando (USD24,8 billion), New York (USD24.8 billion), Tokyo (USD21,7 billion), Bangkok (USD21,3 billion), Mexico City (USD19,7 billion), Las Vegas (USD19.5 billion) and Shenzhen (USD19 billion).

The world’s top 10 cities in terms of job creation are: Jakarta, Beijing, Mexico City, Shanghai, Bangkok, Chongqing, Delhi, Mumbai, Ho Chi Minh City, Shenzhen.

Gloria Guevara, CEO, WTTC, said that with 54 percent of the world’s population living in urban areas, cities have become global economic hubs, driving growth and innovation. They attract huge quantities of people who travel to experience their culture, do business, and live. This growth has also resulted in a rise in city tourism is trend which is forecasted to maintain momentum.

The report highlights the crucial importance of cities to Travel & Tourism worldwide, and likewise how vital this sector is to the economy. Over half a billion trips are made to cities annually representing 45 percent of global international travel.

Highlights from the Report include:
• Cairo was the fastest growing city in 2017 in terms of Travel & Tourism GDP contribution (34,4 percent), followed by Macau (14,2 percent).
• Four of the five fastest growing cities over the past 10 years are located in China: Chongqing, Chengdu, Shanghai, Guangzhou.
• Shanghai is ranked as the largest city by Travel & Tourism volume in 2017. By 2027, Shanghai is expected to be double the size of Paris in terms of Travel & Tourism’s direct contribution to GDP.
• Bangkok (50,4 percent), Paris (29,8 percent), Mexico City (24 percent) and Tokyo (20,2 percent) are the biggest contributors to their country’s Travel & Tourism GDP.
• In terms of domestic vs. international spend, New York sets an example as a city with a remarkable balance (52,7 percent versus 47,2 percent). Meanwhile, Paris relies heavily on international spend and Beijing on domestic.