Islamic Lifestyle

World’s top 3 tourist destinations will attract 30 pct more visitors than 14 Islamic countries combined

Salaam Gateway | 31 May, 2018 Download |  Print

The world's three most popular tourist destinations will attract around 30 percent more visitors this year than the combined total of 14 key Islamic countries.

This is based on Salaam Gateway calculation of the expected visitor numbers this year by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC). 

WTTC expects 89.858 million visitors to top destination France this year, followed by 86.556 million to Spain, and 77.58 million to the United States. Their combined total expected number of tourists is 253.994 million.

14 key Islamic countries across three tourist regions--Southeast Asia, South Asia, and the Middle East and North Africa--are expected to bring in 174.519 million visitors. This is equivalent to 69 percent of the top three's expected visitor number. 


Travel and tourism’s total contribution to the top three’s GDP reached $1.93 trillion in 2017, with the U.S. earning the lion’s share of $1.5 trillion, followed by France with $232 billion and Spain’s $196.2 billion, according to the WTTC.

However, the sector is the most important to Spain, as it accounted for 14.9 percent of its GDP in 2017 compared to the much lower 8.9 percent for France and 7.7 percent for the U.S.

Among the 14 Islamic countries, the travel and tourism sector was most important for Morocco’s GDP (18.6 percent of GDP), followed by Tunisia (14.2 percent), and Malaysia (13.4 percent).

The three picked up $67.6 billion in total travel and tourism sector contribution to their GDP in 2017.


The total contribution of the travel and tourism sector to the 14 Islamic countries was $417.45 billion in 2017. This is around 21.6 percent of what the sector gives to France, Spain and the U.S. combined. 

  1. Turkey: 11.6 pct of GDP, $98.4 billion
  2. KSA: 9.4 pct of GDP, $64.2 billion
  3. Indonesia: 5.8 pct of GDP, $58.9 billion
  4. UAE: 11.3 pct of GDP, $41.95 billion
  5. Malaysia: 13.4 pct of GDP, $41.9 billion
  6. Pakistan: 7.4 pct of GDP, $22.3 billion
  7. Egypt: 11 pct of GDP, $21.1 billion
  8. Morocco: 18.6 pct of GDP, $20 billion
  9. Qatar: 10 pct of GDP, $16.4 billion
  10. Iran: 7.3 pct of GDP, $11.8 billion
  11. Kuwait: 6 pct of GDP, $6.9 billion
  12. Tunisia: 14.2 pct of GDP, $5.7 billion
  13. Oman: 6.6 pct of GDP, $4.6 billion
  14. Bahrain: 9.7 pct of GDP, $3.3 billion

Data source: WTTC

© 2018 All Rights Reserved



World’s top 3 tourist destinations will attract 30 pct more visitors than 14 Islamic countries combined