Many people say Brits, others say German. I used to think that Australians were the most common backpackers, but after two years of budget travel, my assumption has changed.
A comprehensive analysis of international travel expenditure conducted by the U.N. agency dedicated to tourism was released in January 2012 revealed how much money was being spent internationally by different countries. Although it is hard to know just how much of the international spending being done by global tourists is specifically done by backpackers, however it does give a good idea of who is spending the most money on travel. Here is UNWTO’s list of the countries who spent the most on tourism in 2011:
1 United States
7 United Kingdom
9 Hong Kong (China)
See more on the 2011 results here.
The top spenders as of a January 2012 were led by – China, Russia, Brazil and India – followed by traditional markets, with the growth in expenditure of travelers from Germany and the USA above the levels of previous years. See the UNWTO media release here.
However, to this date, I have only met one Chinese couple in a hostel and they still had suitcases with them. I have never met a Russian backpacker, but have seen many of them scantily clad along the beaches of Goa, Varadero and Phuket. Most of the backpackers I have met have been German and Dutch.
Recently, the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer claimed that international tourism will reach one billion in 2012. So, where do you think most backpackers come from?