WTTC Names Shanghai as World’s Largest Tourism Market

Water park lovers will find that this Midwestern getaway has it all: plenty of outdoor thrill slides in the summer and an ideal theme park-style escape during cold winter months. Intertwined body slides, multiple funnel slides and tandem tube rides are among the dozens of attractions enticing both hotel guests and day visitors to the 125,000 square foot indoor-outdoor water park. But the highlight comes by way of Master Blaster, an indoor water roller coaster that dips down and shoots back up for a fast-paced thrill. Once you dry off, you can board a six-story Ferris wheel, ride go-karts, or even test your skills on a ropes course or enjoy some upside-down thrill rides fit for kids young and old—all without having to step off-property.
Microbiologist Dr. Charles Gerba—aka, Dr. Germ—says that hand railings are one of the most germ-ridden surfaces in public spaces, where things like food, E. coli, urine, mucus, feces and even blood can appear. Anything that gets on people's hands gets on handrails. His advice? As he told CBS News, avoid touching handrails altogether unless you absolutely have to—in which case, give yourself a generous squirt of hand sanitizer afterward.

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) released its annual Cities Report at the WTTC Asia Leaders Forum in Macau, which named Shanghai as the largest tourism market in the world.

The WTTC report showcases how 72 of the top tourism cities generated over $625 billion for their respective counties’ GDP last year. Shanghai is No. 1 on the list with a tourism impact of $35 billion.

China’s domination continued with Beijing ranking No. 2 at $32.5 billion, and Paris rounded out the top three with $28 billion. The United States made its impact with Orlando ($24.8 billion) and New York City ($24.8 billion) finishing fourth and fifth, respectively.

Tokyo ($21.7 billion), Bangkok ($21.3 billion), Mexico City ($19.7 billion), Las Vegas ($19.5 billion) and Shenzhen ($19 billion) rounded out the top 10. The WTTC also named Cairo as the fastest growing city in 2017.

“With 54% of the world’s population living in urban areas, cities have become global economic hubs, driving growth and innovation,” WTTC CEO Gloria Guevara said in a statement. “They attract huge quantities of people who travel to experience their culture, do business, and live. This growth has also resulted in a rise in city tourism – a trend which is forecasted to maintain momentum.”

Shanghai skyline with modern urban skyscrapers, China (Photo via dibrova / iStock / Getty Images Plus)

The WTTC report listed the top ten cities in terms of job creation, including Jakarta, Beijing, Mexico City, Shanghai, Bangkok, Chongqing, Delhi, Mumbai, Ho Chi Minh City and Shenzhen.

In addition, the study found that four of the five fastest growing cities over the past ten years are located in China, with Chongqing, Chengdu, Shanghai and Guangzhou highlighting the country’s tourism growth.

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