Pro-poor tourism: harnessing the world's largest industry for the world's poor

United Nations Environment Programme (1997)

Tourism is one of the world's largest industries, generating an estimated 11%1 of global Gross Domestic Product (GDP), employing 200 million people and transporting nearly 700 million international travellers per year a figure that is expected to double by 2020. Developing countries currently have only a minority share of the international tourism market (approximately 30%) but this is growing. International tourism arrivals in developing countries have grown by an average of 9.5% per year since 1990, compared to 4.6% worldwide. The tourism industry makes important contributions to the economies of developing countries, particularly to foreign exchange earnings, employment, and GDP.