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50 fascinating facts about the travel and tourism industry

The travel and tourism industry is one of the biggest in the world with a wide variety of weird, wonderful and shocking facts. Today I’m going to give you a glimpse of some of the most fascinating facts about the travel and tourism industry, perfect for travel enthusiasts and lovers, as well as students and teachers!


Facts about the travel and tourism industry- Aviation

Fasten your seatbelts for some great facts about the travel and tourism aviation industry. Prepare for take-off!

Facts about the travel and tourism industry

Pilots and co-pilots won’t eat the same meal before a flight

In most cases, both the pilot and co-pilot will not eat the same meal before flying the aircraft. This is because they want to reduce the risk of both pilots contracting food poisoning from eating the same food.

The shortest commercial flight is less than two minutes long

Believe it or not, you can actually get on a flight that lasts less than two minutes! Located in Orkney, Scotland, this flight runs between the islands of Westray and Papa Westray. With a record time of just 47 seconds, why walk when you can take a plane?

In the past 60 seconds that you’ve been reading this article, over 2000 people have arrived in a foreign country, 56 pieces of luggage have been lost, and a quarter of a million dollars has been spent by Americans abroad

This is one of my favourite facts about the travel and tourism industry, showcasing just how fast-paced this industry really is. I wonder how high these figures will be by the time you reach fact number 50?

The smoke trailing out of the aeroplane is actually water vapour

Ever wondered how pilots use their aircraft to make those shapes in the sky using smoke? Well this is actually water vapour formed as a result of chemicals, hydrocarbon and oxygen, combining to produce water and some carbon dioxide.

The Boeing 747 can hold enough fuel to power a car around the planet 4 times

Although this fuel doesn’t last as long in the Boeing 747, it would however be enough to fuel your road trips for the next year or so. This aircraft has a total of 8 fuel tanks and a combined capacity of 57,164 gallons of fuel. I know I wouldn’t want to be the one paying that fuel bill.

The high amount of pressure contained within a cabin prevents you from opening an aeroplane door mid-flight

One of the facts about the travel and tourism industry you might not know is, despite popular belief and conventional representations in the film industry, you can’t actually open an aeroplane door during a flight due to the high amount of pressure contained in the cabin. The cabin pressure is so high due to the altitude of the aircraft and thin air outside.

So yes, this does mean that most of those scenes you saw in films were technically inaccurate!

Fancy a 19 hour direct flight? This was the longest flight in the world and it flew from New York to Sydney, Australia

This test flight on a Qantas Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft, flew an incredible 16,200 kilometres without stopping. The total flight time was 19 hours and 16 minutes, with maximum fuel, minimum cargo and a small number of passengers. This flight was research based and used to assess passenger and cabin crew health and wellness on an ‘ultra-long-haul flight’.

Facts about the travel and tourism industry

Flying as little as one mile in a plane can produce 53 pounds of carbon dioxide

This is one of the more serious facts about travel and tourism. As fun and exciting as flying is, it unfortunately has some negative impacts on the environment.

Aircrafts produce a huge amount of carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emissions which are harmful towards our planet. Not all of the facts about the travel and tourism industry are positive, and I would always encourage you to consider researching more sustainable transport options when planning your next trip.

Jet lag feels worse when travelling from West to East

Another one of the great facts about the travel and tourism industry would be the difference in jet lag when travelling either west or east. This is because our bodies find it easier to cope with staying up later than waking up earlier than usual. As the saying goes, “west is best, east is a beast”, you’re less likely to feel jet lagged if you travel from west to east because of the later time zones.

There are over 60,000 people in the air over the US at any given point

The US is a hugely popular tourist destination with aircrafts flying people in, out and around the US all day everyday. This means that there is, approximately, always over 60,000 people in the air over the US on any given day at any given point.

Flying alters your sense of taste and smell

Have you ever noticed that food taste different when you’re on an aeroplane? Well, this is actually due to the high altitude and lack of humidity reducing your sense of smell, weakening your sense of taste and ability to recognise saltiness and sweetness. If you want to know how the food really tastes, you can attend the Flying Food Festival which takes place in London each year.

A single Boeing 777 delivers double the horsepower of the Titanic

The Titanic was able to deliver approximately 46,000 horsepower, unlike today’s Boeing 777 which can now deliver around 110,000 horsepower.

During a 10 hour flight you could lose more than 2 litres of water

The low humidity and reduced oxygen environment causes your body to lose more water than you usually would on the ground. Next time you’re on an aeroplane maybe opt for a bottle of water instead of a brew!

Thomas Cook were the world’s oldest tour operator

The travel organisation, Thomas Cook, was initially founded in 1841, with a train journey from Leicester to Loughborough being their first package holiday. Costing 1 shilling and 6 pence, the 22 mile train journey had a total of 500 passengers. Unfortunately, Thomas Cook collapsed in 2019, with thousands of flights cancelled and jobs lost. They do, however, still have a website which allows for customers to “package their own holiday”.

Facts about the travel and tourism industry- Accommodation

Below are a some of the most interesting facts about the travel and tourism industry, that may make you reconsider your accommodation options for your next trip!

Facts about the travel and tourism industry

There are a number of eccentric Airbnb options available, such as sleeping in a plane in France or a seashell in Mexico

Now more than ever, you have the option to spice up your choice of accommodation when you travel. These are just some examples of the unconventional Airbnb options now available to stay in, all over the world.

One of the most expensive hotels in the world is the Empathy Suite Sky Villa at the Palms Casino Resort in Vegas

With prices starting at $100,000 per night, this suite is the most expensive in Vegas and one of the most expensive in the world. You might want to start saving for this one!

Las Vegas has the highest number of hotel rooms in the world

Vegas is home to approximately 161,593 hotel rooms, with this figure growing by 12,000 in 2020-2022. You’ll have plenty of hotel room options for your next trip to Vegas.

Phone chargers are the most common item left in hotel rooms

Ever had that sudden moment of realisation after checking out – you’ve left your charger! Well, if so, you aren’t alone. Followed by toiletries and clothing, phone chargers are the number one most common item left in hotel rooms. So next time you’re walking out of your hotel room for the last time, make sure to check that you haven’t forgotten your phone charger.

Facts about the travel and tourism industry- Types of tourism

One of the facts about the travel and tourism industry which you probably didn’t know is that there is over 150 different types of tourism. Lets take a deeper look at some of the most fascinating facts about the travel and tourism industry that relates to the different types of tourism.

Dental tourism

The tourism industry is the largest global industry by employment

As a whole, the tourism industry ranks as the top industry in the world by employment. In the UK, for example, approximately 1 in 10 people are working within the tourism industry. Whether you’re looking for a fast-paced job working in the sky or a quieter role on the ground, the tourism industry has a wide variety of positions to best suit you. Within these roles are also a diverse range of tourism types, read on to learn more!

China is experiencing a rapid growth in medical tourism

Medical tourism refers to an individual(s) travelling to another country for health/ medical care. Studies have shown that China has seen a rapid increase in medical tourism, meaning more Chinese citizens are travelling abroad for some form of medical care. This is for a couple of reasons: Chinese are looking for a higher quality of healthcare; more Chinese can afford to pay the cost of travelling abroad for medical care.

Watch this video to learn more about the rise in medical tourism.

There are many different types of tourism that you may be unaware of, such as ‘slum’ tourism and ‘flash packing’

Out of all the different types of tourism out there, I can almost guarantee there are some unconventional types that you will be unaware of. I know I certainly was!

For example, slum tourism is where people choose to visit slums, and/or poverty stricken areas as part of tourism. Akin to this, flash packing is an interesting touristic concept which is essentially back packing without a budget, much like camping and glamping.

facts about the travel and tourism industry

Tourists are becoming less interested in conventional package holidays, with dynamic packages and special interest tourism on the rise

One of the newest facts about the travel and tourism industry is that, in recent years, trends and statistics have clearly shown that tourists are becoming more interested in dynamic package holidays, rather than the original, common package holiday. This is because tourists are becoming more aware of tailored packages and what the world has to offer, but also regular package holidays are no longer fulfilling everyone’s travel desires.

Special tourism, essentially tourism which is tailored to a specific interest, is also on the rise for the same reason.

Looking for new pearly-whites? Dental tourism has also seen a rapid growth in recent years

Dental tourism refers to the process of travelling abroad to undergo some form of dental treatment.

Similarly to the previous facts about the travel and tourism industry, dental tourism has seen a rise in recent years, this is because people are researching to find out that dental treatment is often cheaper than in their country. For example, the cost of dental treatment in Budapest is 50-70% cheaper than in the UK, and approximately 500,000 of Budapests annual visitors are travelling to Hungary solely for some form of dental treatment.

The proliferation of technology has resulted in a rise in smart tourism

Smart tourism refers to the innovation and proliferation of technology in a particular attraction, destination or tourists themselves. The capabilities of these technologies are increasing rapidly due to technological popularity and its constant innovations. Destinations are becoming smarter and attractions are becoming more appealing to tourists for their incredible technologies.

A great example of smart tourism would be Tui’s robotic humanoid, Pepper. Operating in Tui’s Stockholm office, Pepper is able to understand and reply in multiple languages – Pepper also offers a touchscreen featured to further enhance communication with its users. Incredible!

Some destinations are forced to limit tourist numbers due to overtourism, this is called controlled tourism

Controlled tourism, often as a result of overtourism, is the process of restricting tourist numbers in an area which is essentially experiencing too many visitors.

Overtourism is one of the facts about the travel and tourism industry which some people find surprising. However, without controlled tourism there can be negative implications to the environment and locals, making it particularly important for some destinations to limit their tourist numbers. Watch a video on overtourism here for more information.

Facts about the travel and tourism industry- Destinations

Below are some more facts about the travel and tourism industry, but more specifically about the incredible destinations all around the world and the facts about the travel and tourism industry that relate to them.

Religious tourism

India’s trains transport approximately 23 million passengers a day

Believe it or not, but India‘s trains transport around 23 million passengers every day, that’s around a third of the UK population! Many regular travellers on these trains are not willing to pay for accommodation expenses in big cities, such as Mumbai, and therefore choose to travel to and from work by train everyday.

-> You’re half way there! Continue reading for even more fascinating facts about the travel and tourism industry

Saudi Arabia has no rivers

This has got to be another one of my favourite facts about the travel and tourism industry! Saudi Arabia really has 0 rivers. Due to Saudi Arabia’s constant high temperatures and huge lack of annual rainfall, it is simply too hot for any rivers to exist due to the heat causing the rainfall to evaporate immediately.

The Maglev bullet train in Japan is the fastest in the world

With top speeds of 375 miles per hour, the Japanese Maglev bullet train is guaranteed to ensure you get to work on-time! Japan’s high speed railways have also had a total of 0 fatal incidents, labelling it one of the safest existing forms of travel. This bullet train has been labelled as ‘futuristic’, with some tourists visiting Japan to take a look at this super speedy train in-person.

Pluto can fit in Russia

Now this has got to be one of the most unbelievable facts about the travel and tourism industry in this article. Russia is not only the biggest country in the world, but is also big enough to fit the planet Pluto in its borders! NASA have precisely predicted that Pluto can in fact fit into Russia‘s borders, however, despite popular belief, Pluto is in fact bigger than Russia. But hey, this has still got to be one of the most shocking facts about the travel and tourism industry.

Yearly reports have shown that France continues to be the most popular visitor destination, with visitor numbers as high as 90 million a year! The wide range of diverse visitor attractions are one of the main reasons why France is such a popular destination, with tourists visiting to see popular attractions like the Eiffel Tower.

Vatican is the smallest country in the world

Measuring at only 0.2 square miles, Vatican City is the smallest country in the world. Nearly 120 times smaller than Manhattan. Nevertheless, approximately 17,000 people visit Vatican City everyday. The Vatican Museums are the most popular attraction and are the main reason why a lot of tourists choose to visit such a small country.

Canada has over 2 million lakes

A huge 9% of Canada’s surface are lakes, making Canada the country with the most lakes in the world. As a result of this, Canada is a popular destination to visit for tourists looking for lake holidays, both inbound and domestic. Accessible by road, a lot of Canada’s lakes are used for water sports and are a hotspot for tourists.

The entirety of China operates on Beijing time

Despite the country covering a total of 5 time zones, the whole of China actually operates on one time zone, Beijing. This is another great fact about the travel and tourism industry that I never knew until recently. Following one standard time, UTC+8:00, their daylight saving time hasn’t actually been observed since 1991.

France covers more time zones than any other country

Relative to my previous fact, France is actually the country which covers the most time zones in the world – a total of 12 time zones!

Due to their dependencies and overseas territories, France technically cover the most time zones, despite some territories being really far from the capital, Paris. This means that France even beat the biggest countries in the world, the USA and Russia, who each cover 11 time zones.

Feeding pigeons in San Francisco is illegal

Section 486 of the municipal police code prohibits the feeding of pigeons in San Francisco. The state made the decision to make the feeding of any bird or wild animal illegal, this is because of the negative impacts which it has on the birds. By overfeeding the birds they are more likely to become dependent on humans and will lose their natural ability to forage for food. Violators of this law can be fined hundreds of dollars and cited – you’d better keep those bread crumbs to yourself next time you visit San Francisco.

Spanish is ranked as the happiest language in the world

The National Academy of Sciences released a study which suggested that Spanish is actually the happiest language in the world. After the analysis of around 100,000, used most frequently in the top 10 most popular languages in the world, the researchers were able to determine that Spanish used the most positive language. The top 5 happiest languages are as follows: Spanish; Brazilian; Portuguese; English; Indonesian.

The United States is the only developed country to not have a single paid holiday or vacation day

In the US, time off is considered less of a right and more of a perk, making it the only developed country without a single paid holiday or vacation day. There is also no federal law which ensures paid family leave, one of the most shocking facts about the travel and tourism industry, particularly to Europeans.

Las Vegas consumes around 60,000 pounds of shrimp, DAILY!

I think it’s safe to say that shrimp is a popular dish in Las Vegas. This also equates to almost half of all the shrimp consumed in the US everyday. Shrimp is served almost everywhere in, restaurants, buffets, food stalls, and even coffee shops. This fact definitely came as a surprise to me and I’m left wondering how much is spent on shrimp in Las Vegas everyday?

Dogs are banned from Antarctica

Ever since 1994, dogs have been officially banned from Antarctica due to concern that they could spread a disease to the seals. Sled dogs haven’t been allowed in Antarctica since 1994 as a result of fears they would spread the disease, Canine distemper. This is a serious and viral illness which would threaten seals in Antarctica, eventually leading to the banning of dogs.

Facts about the travel and tourism industry- Attractions

Almost there! Below are 7 more fascinating facts about the travel and tourism industry and its awesome attractions.

types of tourist attractions

Every penny collected in Rome’s Trevi Fountain is donated to a number of charities

The Trevi Fountain in Rome is one of their most famous attractions and is a definite tourist hotspot. It’s tradition that visitors toss a coin into the Trevi Fountain but why? Well, there is actually three popular reasons why people do this: to ensure a return trip to Rome; to find love in Rome; to marry in Rome. However, for your wish to work you must make sure you throw the coin correctly. You should turn your back to the fountain, take the coin in your right hand and toss it over your left shoulder. Make sure to keep an extra coin in your pocket for your next trip to Rome’s Trevi Fountain – and good luck, of course!

The size of the Eiffel Tower changes during the summer

As a result of the high temperatures in Paris over the summer, the size of the Eiffel Tower actually increases by 15cm. The 324 metre tall structure expands due to a phenomenon called thermal expansion, the result of material going through extreme changes in temperature. Nevertheless, the Eiffel Tower returns to its original height during the winter, as a result of the cooler temperatures.

Sticky rice was used in the construction of the Great Wall of China

The remarkable structure that is the Great Wall of China, having stood strong for over 2,300 years, was actually built on sticky rice! It was used to strengthen the structure as a form of binding material, combined with traditional mortar. The Great Wall of China isn’t the only building which is has been essentially ‘stuck together’ with sticky rice, and some of these structures are even strong enough to withstand earthquakes.

Italy is home to a free wine fountain

For some of my readers, I can imagine this will be one of the facts about the travel and tourism industry which excites you the most! A small municipality of Ortona, Caldari, is the home to a popular tourist attraction – a free wine fountain! Yes, it’s true, there is genuinely a wine fountain in Italy that is completely free to use, and you can go visit. So, next time you travel to Italy, make sure to book somewhere close to Caldari di Ortona (preferably within walking distance).

There is a typo on the famous Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Another one of the great facts about the travel and tourism industry would be the misspelling of Pennsylvania on the famous Liberty Bell. It’s true, if you take a close look at the Liberty Bell you will notice that Pennsylvania is actually missing one “n”, and is in fact spelt “Pensylvania” instead.

The biggest cruise ship in the world is the ‘Wonder of the Seas’

In 2022, the Wonder of the Seas was listed as the biggest cruise ship in the world. With a gross tonnage of 236,857, this huge cruise ship features 18 decks, can accommodate up to 6,988 guests and has a total of 2,300 crew members. Owned by Royal Caribbean International, this cruise line also owns the second and third largest cruise ships in the world – the Symphony of the Seas and the Harmony of the Seas.

Some of the most unusual attractions include the Temple of Rats and the Island of the Dolls

Some of the most interesting facts about the travel and tourism industry involve the most unusual attractions! Now, these are just a couple of the most unusual tourist attractions that I found, however, there are many more which you could explore.

The Temple of Rats, formally named the Karni Mata Temple, is located in India and is simply a temple that is full of rats. The temple is home to approximately 25,000 black rats and some white rats, and you can visit!

Another unusual attraction is the Island of the Dolls in Mexico. Similarly, everything this attraction offers is in the name. The original home of Don Julian Santana Barrera, a lone inhabitant, this attraction hails a tragic background story.

General facts about the travel and tourism industry

Here are my final five facts about the travel and tourism industry, keep reading for a some more great facts!

Money spent on travel makes you happier than money spent on material goods

Research has shown that people are made happier spending their hard earned money on travel, rather than material goods. A psychology professor from Cornell University, Dr. Thomas Gilovich, has studied the subject and determined that people are actually made happier when spending money on experiences, rather than material goods. Travel really does make you happy!

Holidaying is good for your heart

Studies have also shown that taking a vacation can actually lower your risk of a heart disease. Not only does travelling have positive impacts on your physical health, but your mental health too. Travel has also be linked to the reduction of stress and an improved outlook on life. So go ahead, book that holiday, why not?

Travel increases your creativity

It doesn’t stop there, travelling has also been proven to promote creativity. Newly discovered research has shown that, as a result of a more positive mindset and outlook on life, travel can increase your creativity. So next time you hit a mental block, make sure to go ahead and book a vacation – the perfect excuse!

You’ll never see a Disney bin being emptied

This is one of my favourite facts about the travel and tourism industry. Disney Parks are incredibly popular attractions, so how do their bins not overflow mid-day? Well, this is actually because the bins in Disney Parks have a vacuum at the bottom which, every 20 minutes, vacuum’s all of the rubbish through a pipe system at around 60mph. Another great fact about Disney Park bins is that you are never more than 30 feet away from a bin – no littering here!

Facts about travel and tourism- further reading

Congratulations, you’ve reached the end of my ’50 fascinating facts about the travel and tourism industry’. I hope you enjoyed and don’t forget to leave a comment below if you know any facts about travel and tourism that I should include next time.

By the way- if you enjoyed this article outlining these fascinating facts about the travel and tourism industry, why not take a look at some more? I have recommended some below-