Global tourism hits record highs – but who goes where on holiday?

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As the holiday season approaches, we look at the rise and rise of tourism and find out where the world’s 1.4bn international travellers go on vacation

How many people travel abroad on holiday?

Tourism is on the rise. In 2018 there were a record 1.4bn international tourist arrivals, according to the World Tourism Organization (UNTWO), a rise of 6% over 2017. That doesn’t mean 1.4 billion people travel abroad for their holidays, as many people will clock up more than one trip.

But it does mean tourism is playing an increasingly important role in the global economy. In 2018, it was worth about $1.7tn (£1.3tn), or about 2% of total global GDP. Even the UNWTO is struggling to keep up, with current figures vastly exceeding expectations.

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Overcrowded Housing in Chicago Worsening

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A roommate prepares a meal in their overcrowded apartment that is share by two couples in Chinatown

Like many Chicago-area residents who’ve lost their homes to foreclosure, Alondra Navarette had nowhere to turn when forced to leave her spacious house earlier this year.  The struggling maid could no longer afford her ballooning mortgage payments when house-cleaning jobs dried up. So she moved into the already cramped basement apartment occupied by her daughter and a roommate on Chicago’s Northwest Side.

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