Mainland China and U.S. Continue to Drive Global Travel

INTERNATIONAL REPORT—Mainland Chinese are traveling overseas for business and leisure in greater numbers than ever before, according to Mastercard’s newest edition of its Global Destination Cities Index.

In the report, which gathers where international travelers originate, Mainland China has jumped from No. 7 in 2009 to No. 2 today, behind only the U.S. in terms of the number of travelers to overseas destinations.

Mastercard’s Global Destination Cities Index: Origins specifically ranks where the most people travel internationally from, and their top destinations. Globally, the industry contributed a record $8.8 trillion and 319 million jobs in 2018, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council—and insights like these can help shape local decision-making on how to best attract and serve travelers from around the world.

This year, the United States is the No. 1 origin market followed by mainland China, Germany, the U.K. and France. Travel from across Asia-Pacific also surged; the Republic of Korea and Taiwan, which were not in the top 10 a decade ago, rose to No. 6 and No. 10 respectively. The top origin markets include the following:

  1. U.S.
  2. Mainland China
  3. Germany
  4. U.K.
  5. France
  6. Republic of Korea
  7. Japan
  8. Canada
  9. Russian Federation
  10. Taiwan

“Mastercard’s Global Destination Cities Index: Origins offers a new way for local officials and companies to see how travelers spend at destinations, providing them with better insights on how to plan and promote travel and tourism capabilities,” said Diana Robino, SVP, tourism partnerships, Mastercard. “Managed well, travel and tourism can be a catalyst for inclusive growth, benefiting both visitors and all communities in the destinations. Mastercard is committed to using its expertise and technology to help cities and destinations realize these opportunities.”