Paris takes the lead as the ‘most powerful’ tourist city in the world

Paris has been crowned the world’s most powerful tourist destination city in the year 2022.

This information was revealed in a report released by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) after a period of global tourism research.

Sponsored by Visa and carried out in partnership with Oxford Economics, the report assessed a variety of factors in its findings including the contribution of a city’s travel industry to its GDP, the rate and availability of employment opportunities, as well as traveler spending.

According to the report, the Parisian travel and tourism industry was worth $35.6 billion in 2022 — an immense contribution to the city’s GDP.

The city’s industry is expected to grow to $49 billion by 2032.

The WTTC, however, predicts Beijing to overtake Paris in the coming decade as a world tourism power.

Beijing currently sits second with a travel and tourism industry worth $33 billion. But the Chinese economic and tourist hub is expected to grow its worth to $77 billion by 2032.

China’s recent investments in travel and tourism saw the capital city Shanghai’s sector grow to nearly $30bn last year. The WTTC predicts this to more than double to almost $71bn by 2032. This will place Shanghai as the world’s second most powerful tourist destination.

Behind Paris and Beijing on the list is the American city of Orlando. Nicknamed the ‘theme park capital of the world, Orlando’s travel and tourism sector was valued at $31 billion in 2022. While this value is predicted to grow by almost 50 percent to $45 billion by 2032, there are also speculations that it will drop down to become the fourth biggest city destination.

Las Vegas, another American city in the top 10, is predicted to hold its place, firmly staying as the fifth largest city destination. In 2022, Las Vegas’s travel and tourism sector were worth nearly $23 billion. The city’s sector is however expected to grow to over $36 billion by 2032.

“Major cities such as London, Paris, and New York will remain global powerhouses. But over the next few years, Beijing, Shanghai, and Macau will be moving up the list of top city destinations,” says Julia Simpson, President & CEO of the WTTC.

“Tourists will always have favorite cities that they will return to, but as other countries prioritize travel and tourism, we are going to see new and emerging destinations challenging the traditional favorites.”

Some of these new and emerging destinations include many cities outside the top 10 such as the Polish capital of Warsaw, which has seen a 14.4% increase in its GDP contribution in 2022 versus 2019.

The Chinese coastal city of Sanya has also become a popular tourist destination in recent years, as holidaymakers visit to see its stunning beaches and seafronts. Sanya witnessed a 10.2% growth in the year 2022, and its travel and tourism sector represented an incredible 43.6% of the city’s total economy.

Macau, a quickly growing city on China’s south coast, has a travel and tourism sector that currently represents 40.4% of the city’s total economy.

These formerly undiscovered cities continue to show promising growth as popular tourist destinations. The WTTC believes that China will occupy most of the ranks by 2032.

The report recognized the top cities with the highest international traveler spending:

Top 10 cities travel and tourism gdp

Top Ten Cities Based on Direct Travel & Tourism GDP in real terms for 2022:
  1. Paris – $35.65BN
  2. Beijing – $32.62BN
  3. Orlando – $31.1BN
  4. Shanghai – $29.69BN
  5. Las Vegas – $22.99BN
  6. New York – $21.09BN
  7. Tokyo – $17.97BN
  8. Mexico City – $16.76BN
  9. London – $14.92BN
  10. Guangzhou – $13.15BN
Top Ten Cities Based on Predicted Direct Travel & Tourism GDP in real terms for 2032:
  1. Beijing – $77.28BN (up one place from 2022)
  2. Shanghai – $70.88BN (up two places from 2022)
  3. Paris – $49.15BN (down two places from 2022)
  4. Orlando – $45BN (down one place from 2022)
  5. Las Vegas – $36.55BN (no change from 2022)
  6. Guangzhou – $34.94BN (up four places from 2022)
  7. New York – $34.28BN (down one place from 2022)
  8. Macau – $33.33BN (up four places from 2022)
  9. Bangkok – $31.52BN (up eight places from 2022)
  10. Tokyo – $29.94BN (down three places from 2022)

The report also recognized the top cities with the highest international traveler spending:

Source: WTTC

The top ten cities with the biggest international travelers’ spend in 2022 were:

  1. Dubai – $29.42bn
  2. Doha – $16.79bn
  3. London – $16.07bn
  4. Macau – $15.58bn
  5. Amsterdam – $13.59bn
  6. Istanbul – $13.13bn
  7. Barcelona – $12.73bn
  8. New York – $12.45bn
  9. Singapore – $10.97bn
  10. Paris – $9.76bn

In 2032, the WTTC predicts the top ten cities with the largest international traveler spending to be:

  1. Hong Kong – $52.06bn (up 38 places from 2022)
  2. Macau – $43.14bn (up two places from 2022)
  3. Dubai – $42.98bn (down two places from 2022)
  4. Singapore – $37.43bn (up five places from 2022)
  5. Bangkok – $33.45bn (up seven places from 2022)
  6. Doha – $31.63bn (down four places from 2022)
  7. Tokyo $25.44bn (up 30 places from 2022)
  8. New York $21.73bn (no change from 2022)
  9. Amsterdam $21.53bn (down four places from 2022)
  10. Shanghai – $21.3bn (up 11 places from 2022)


Umar Ali
As editor in chief, I am always on the road, searching for hidden gems, undiscovered waterfalls, enticing hikes to explore, underrated delis, and more. Crafting compelling content that captures the true essence of each place is my passion. With years of experience in travel journalism, I strive to provide unbiased and factual content based on my real-life experiences. When I'm not out exploring, you can find me delving into local markets and devouring new foods, immersing myself in the cultures and communities that make each destination unique. It might sound like a tough job, but I love it!

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