Europe directly contributes $830 billion or 30% to global travel and tourism GDP, a new cities study shows.

Estimates of the GDP and employment directly generated by the sector across 73 major cities worldwide is highlighted in the World Travel & Tourism Council report.

Two of the fastest growing cities of those analysed were in Europe.

Antalya’s direct travel and tourism GDP grew 15.7% last year and Istanbul at 15.5%, reflecting continued recovery of the sector in Turkey.

This has been primarily driven by safety improvements and depreciation of its currency, both of which have made the destinations more attractive to visitors, according to the WTTC.

Moscow was third, growing 13.7% last year on the back of the FIFA World Cup. International spending showed especially strong growth in Moscow, growing 20.5%.

International visitors spent $17.5 billion in London last year, nearly twice as much as the operating costs of Transport for London, and near four times the amount than the total expenditure for policing and crime within the city, according to the WTTC.

The 73 cities analysed account for $691 billion in direct travel and tourism GDP, which represents 25% of the sector’s direct global GDP and accounts for more than 17 million jobs.

WTTC president and chief executive Gloria Guevara said: “European cities have been and will continue to be of critical importance to the travel and tourism sector.

“This wide-reaching report has shown the ongoing growth and contribution of European cities, and the importance the travel and tourism sector has on communities and offers further examples in areas such as best practices for sustainable growth, resilience and destination stewardship.

“Achieving sustainable growth in cities requires reaching far beyond the sector itself, and into the broader urban agenda.

“To drive true economic impact that can translate seamlessly into social benefits, a city must engage with all stakeholders, across the public and private sector, in order to establish the cities of the future.”