What is the difference between inbound and outbound tourism?


Quick Answer

Simply speaking, inbound tourism is when a non-resident or foreigner visits a given country, and outbound tourism is when a resident of a given country leaves that country to visit another one.

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What is the difference between inbound and outbound tourism?
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Full Answer

From an American perspective, if an American visits Germany, that is considered to be outbound tourism, but if a German visits the United States, that is considered to be inbound tourism.

Inbound and outbound tourism have an important impact on a country's financial health. When a country attracts a lot of inbound tourism, the tourists spend money on souvenirs, hotels, dining and other amenities. This creates jobs, and through consumption taxes, it adds additional money to that country's coffers.

Outbound tourism generates some money in the country of origin – outbound tourists buy things such as travel insurance, plane tickets and new travel clothing from their home country. However, ultimately, outbound tourism takes financial resources out of the home country and gives them to the destination country.

If a country has more inbound than outbound tourism, it has a travel trade surplus, and a country with a travel trade surplus can consider tourism to be a very lucrative export. However, that does not mean that a country should not encourage outbound tourism. There are intangible effects of both inbound and outbound tourism, and these include learning about the surrounding world and fostering positive relationships between countries.

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