According to research by Hoo, the hotel room offer platform, the average sum spent by tourists for international holidays has climbed by as much as 218% in some global tourism destinations.

Hoo analysed the global tourism market by looking at the sum of tourism receipts (money spent) and what this equates to on a spend per tourist basis when taking the number of tourism arrivals (visitors) into account. Hoo then looked at how this has changed across each destination when comparing 2020 to 2019.

Hoo’s research shows that the amount spent per tourist across 37 global tourism hotspots has increased by an average of 59% in 2020; Up from $1,152 to $1,830.

Most Expensive Holiday Destinations

The most expensive holiday destination in the last year has been for those visiting Australia. Despite international arrivals falling to 2.5m in 2020 compared to 9.5m the previous year, the country still saw $27.2m spent across the tourism industry, equating to $10,760 per tourist!

The United States, Canada and India also ranked as some of the most expensive holiday destinations, with the average tourist spending between three and four thousand dollars.

Biggest Increase in Holiday Spend

China has seen the most significant increase in spending per tourist in 2020. The cost of a holiday has soared by 218%, from an average of $545 in 2019 to $1,731.

Great Wall of China

Canada is not only one of the most expensive at $3,453, but this cost has also increased by 173% annually.

The cost of a trip to Belgium is up 128%, with the average tourist spending $2,180 in 2020, with Korea (+124%) and Australia (124%) also seeing spend per tourist increase by more than 100% in 2020.

Other nations to have seen a notable increase include India, Singapore, Thailand, Portugal, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, the UAE and Vietnam, with tourism spend per person up by 60% or more year on year.

Biggest Reductions in Holiday Spend

Not everywhere has seen the spend per tourist increase. Russia has seen a -49% drop, with the average tourist now spending $232 compared to $451 in 2019.

Krakow Poland

Krakow Poland

Poland (-28%), Mexico (-18%), Croatia (-17%) Indonesia (-10%), Malaysia (-7%) and Greece (-4%) have also seen a decline, while Italy has remained largely unchanged (1%).

Hoo Co-founder, Adrian Murdock: “It’s been an extraordinary time for international tourism, with global travel restrictions stifling our ability to travel and reducing the topline level of income seen across the tourism industry. Despite a fall in both overall travel and tourism spend, the amount spent per person is disproportionately high when compared to previous years. This has no doubt been driven by a few factors.

Firstly, high demand will have pushed up costs in areas with little to no restrictions, or indeed during periods when wider restrictions were eased. As a result, those braving it for a trip abroad will have been paying more for accommodation and other holiday outgoings than they might have in regular conditions.

Secondly, with our ability to go on holiday reduced, holidaymakers will have spent more to make the most of their time abroad, or upped their budget due to only having one holiday on the cards for the year.

With an exit plan now presented by the UK and other governments around the world, many will be anticipating a trip away this summer. However, depending on your destination of choice, you could find it will cost you a fair bit more than it would have before the pandemic, with a massive lift in demand likely to drive up prices even further.”


Country2019 Spend per Tourist2020 Spend per TouristChange %
Korea (ROK)$1,234$2,770124%
Saudi Arabia$937$1,54365%
United Arab Emirates$1,305$2,13263%
South Africa$824$1,26053%
Hong Kong (China)$1,218$1,81849%
United States$2,700$4,01149%
Macao (China)$2,156$2,78329%
United Kingdom$1,338$1,67325%
Spend per tourist is based on the total tourism receipts in each nation divided by the number of tourist arrivals in the same year
Data sourced from the UNWTO