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International tourism on track for a record year

MADRID, 17 days ago

Demand for international tourism remained strong during the Northern Hemisphere summer peak season as international tourist arrivals in July and August totalled over 300 million for the first time according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer.

Many destinations reported double-digit growth, in particular in the Mediterranean.
 
Between January and August, destinations worldwide welcomed 901 million international tourist arrivals (overnight visitors), 56 million more than in the same period of 2016. This corresponds to a robust 7 per cent increase, well above the growth of previous years. With upbeat prospects for the remaining months of the year, 2017 is set to be the eighth consecutive year of continued solid growth for international tourism.

Results reflect the sustained growth in many destinations combined with the recovery of those suffering from security challenges in recent years.

By UNWTO regions, growth was strongest in Africa (up 9 per cent) and Europe (up 8 per cent), followed by Asia and the Pacific (up 6 per cent), the Middle East (up 5 per cent) and the Americas (up 3 per cent).

This strong performance is confirmed by experts from around the world surveyed for the UNWTO Confidence Index, who evaluated the May-August period very positively. Prospects for the last four months of 2017 remain also buoyant according to the experts consulted.

“Tourism is a major economic engine and employment generator, contributing to the improvement of livelihoods of millions of people around the world” stated UNWTO secretary-general Taleb Rifai in London, ahead of the World Travel Market.

“As we draw to the end of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, we must reflect on how to manage tourism in a responsible and sustainable way beyond 2017. Maximising the social and economic benefits of tourism while minimising any negative impacts on host communities and the environment should remain at the forefront of our efforts in the years to come, with policy-makers, companies and travelers all contributing to this shared objective,” Rifai added.

Regional Results
In Europe (up 8 per cent), international arrivals rebounded in both Southern and Mediterranean Europe (up 12 per cent) and Western Europe (up 7 per cent) following a weak 2016. Arrivals grew by 6 per cent in Northern Europe and by 4 per cent in Central and Eastern Europe between January and August 2017.

Africa (up 9 per cent) recorded the fastest growth of all five regions, thanks to the strong rebound in North Africa (up 15 per cent) and the sound results of Sub-Saharan Africa (up 5 per cent).

South Asia (up 10 per cent) led growth in Asia and the Pacific (up 6 per cent), followed by South-East Asia (up 8 per cent) and Oceania (up 7 per cent), while results in North-East Asia (up 3 per cent) were rather mixed.

Most destinations in the Americas (up 3 per cent) continued to enjoy positive results, led by South America (up 7 per cent), followed by Central America and the Caribbean (both up 4 per cent). In North America (up 2 per cent), robust results in Mexico and Canada contrast with a decrease in the US, the region’s largest destination.

Results in the Middle East (5 per cent) are mixed, with some destinations strongly rebounding from negative growth in previous years, while others reported declines through August.

Strong outbound demand from major source markets, rebound from Russia and Brazil

Inbound visitor growth across world destinations was fuelled by strong outbound demand from the majority of source markets.

Among the top 10 markets, international tourism expenditure grew fastest in China (up 19 per cent), the Republic of Korea (up 12 per cent), the US (up 8 per cent) and Canada (up 7 per cent). Expenditure from Germany, the UK, Australia, Italy and Hong Kong (China) grew between 3 per cent and 5 per cent, while France reported a modest 1 per cent increase.

Worth noting beyond the top 10 source markets is the significant recovery in demand from the Russian Federation (up 27 per cent) and Brazil (up 35 per cent) after a few years of declines in tourism expenditure abroad. - TradeArabia News Service




Tags: global | international | tourist | arrivals |

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