Countries Employing the Highest Number of People in the Travel and Tourism Industry

Travel and tourism is a booming industry throughout the globe.
Travel and tourism is a booming industry throughout the globe.

The Growing Travel and Tourism Industry

The global travel and tourism sector is enormous, and has recorded steady growth in recent years. With increasing globalization, destination and accommodation firms have greater access to new potential markets. Traditional tourism destinations experience new competition from upcoming regions such as Dubai. The industry contributed more than 7.6 trillion US dollars in 2016. Various nations have different travel and tourism industries. Countries employing the highest number of people in this industry are listed below.


The number of employees in China's travel and tourism industry amounted to 22.78 million in 2013. Tourism, like many other aspects of China's economy, benefited from the Chinese economic reform which commenced in 1978. The nation is currently the third most visited country in the world. In 2010, China welcomed 55.98 million foreign tourists and recorded a foreign exchange income of 45.8 billion US dollars. Most overseas tourists jetting into China originate from South Korea, US, Vietnam, Russia, Malaysia, and Japan. The nation boasts numerous ancient capitals such as Beijing, Luoyang, and Kaifeng, which possess historical significance. Sites such as the Forbidden City, Magao Caves, Mount Lu, Potala Palace, and the Silk Road draw thousands of travelers.


22.32 million people worked in India's travel and tourism industry in 2013. By 2016, the number of employees supported by the tourism sector had grown to 40.343 million, and the industry accounted for 9.6% of India's GDP. India is particularly rich in cultural and natural resources which attract visitors from countries like the US, Sri Lanka, UK, Bangladesh, and Australia. India has made notable improvements in its tourism and transport infrastructure, although it does not compare well to more developed regions. Security concerns, as well as crime, continue to challenge the Indian travel and tourism industry.


The United States prides itself on a large travel and tourism industry which supported 5.44 million jobs in 2013. The number of overseas travelers visiting the US is second only to France. The country advertises a wide array of tourist destinations including festivals, galleries, spas, amusement parks, landmarks, and gambling. Most visitors enter the US from the UK, Mexico, South Korea, Brazil, China, and Canada. Orlando, Florida ranks as the most popular destination in both the US, as well as the world.


Mexico's travel and tourism sector accounted for 3.18 million jobs in 2013. The tourism industry picked up from the early nineteenth century in Mexico. The country's government has pioneered the promotion of Mexico's destinations ranging from colonial cities, works of architecture, beach resorts, medieval ruins, cultural festivals, as well as nature reserves. Mexico City, for example, has its historic center recognized as a UNESCO heritage site. The site boasts archaeological remains, the National Place, museums, and the Cathedral. The bulk of Mexico's visitors enter from North America, Latin America, and Europe. The beaches of Mexico feature renowned resorts and attract water sport enthusiasts.

Trends in the Travel and Tourism Industry

The growing middle-class in emerging economies is becoming an important market for world tourism. The dominance of the traditional travel markets of Europe and North America is being challenged by growing markets in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. The emerging markets that are becoming popular destinations include Vietnam, Uganda, Oman, Angola, and Brunei. Falling travel barriers and costs have empowered more people to travel. Segments such as millennials are redefining what it means to travel as they seek distinct experiences.

Countries Employing the Highest Number of People in the Travel and Tourism Industry

RankCountryNumber Of Employees In The Travel and Tourism Industry (in millions), 2013
3United States5.44
9United Kingdom1.77

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