Published On: Tue, Jan 23rd, 2018

Tourism in 2017 recorded an increase of 7% worldwide

The data come from UNWTO Barometer. Forecasts indicate that this strong momentum will continue in 2018, with a rate of between 4% and 5%

WTOInternational tourist arrivals recorded a significant increase of 7% in 2017 to reach a total of 1,322 million according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. Forecasts indicate that this strong momentum will continue in 2018, with a rate of between 4% and 5%.

From the data communicated destinations around the world, it is estimated that international tourist arrivals (overnight visitors) worldwide increased by 7% in 2017. It is a much higher sustained trend rate and constant 4% or more which had been registered since 2010 and represents the best result in seven years.

Led by the destinations in the Mediterranean, Europe extraordinary results obtained for such a large and rather mature region, registering an 8% increase in international arrivals in 2016. Africa consolidated its rebound in 2016 with growth of 8%. Asia and the Pacific grew by 6%, 5% Middle East and the Americas 3%.

2017 was characterized by sustained growth in many destinations and reinvigorated destinations suffered declines in previous years. The results were due in part to the economic recovery and strong demand for many traditional and emerging source markets and in particular to the rise in tourist spending in Brazil and the Russian Federation after several years of declines.

"International travel continues to grow strongly, consolidating the tourism sector as a key driver of economic development. As the third exporting sector in the world, tourism is essential for job creation and prosperity of communities around the world," he said secretary General of UNWTO, Zurab Pololikashvili. "However, while we continue to grow, we must strengthen cooperation to ensure that growth benefits all members of all host communities and that growth is consistent with the Sustainable Development Goals".

Growth will continue in 2018
Forecasts indicate that the current strong momentum will continue in 2018, albeit at a more sustainable after eight years of steady expansion pace, following the economic and financial crisis of 2009. Based on current trends, the economic outlook and forecast Group Experts of the UNWTO, the Organization expects international tourist arrivals worldwide will grow at a rate of between 4% and 5% in 2018. This is a slightly higher than the 3.8% average growth rate envisaged by the OMT for the period 2010-2020 in its report towards 2030 tourism (tourism 2030), a long-term forecast. It is anticipated that Europe and the Americas will grow between 3.5% and 4.5%, Asia and the Pacific between 5% and 6%, Africa between 5% and 7% and the Middle East between 4% and 6%.

2017 results by WTO regions 
arrivals of international tourists in Europe reached 671 million in 2017, registering a remarkable growth of 8% after a comparatively weaker 2016. Growth was driven by the extraordinary results of the Southern and Mediterranean Europe (+ 13%). Western Europe (+ 7%), Northern Europe and Central and Eastern Europe (both + 5%) also showed strong growth.

Asia and the Pacific (+ 6%) recorded 324 million international tourist arrivals in 2017. Arrivals to South Asia grew by 10% to Southeast Asia Oceania 8% and 7%. Arrivals Northeast Asia increased by 3%.

The Americas (+ 3%) received 207 million international tourist arrivals in 2017, having enjoyed positive results almost all destinations. South America (+ 7%) led growth, followed by Central American and Caribbean (both + 4%), having shown the latter clear signs of recovery after Irma and Mary hurricanes. In North America (+ 2%), good results in Mexico and Canada contrasted with the decline in the United States, the largest destination in the region.

From the data available for Africa, it has estimated 2017 growth at 8%. The region consolidated the upturn in 2016 and reached a record 62 million international arrivals. North Africa experienced a clear recovery, arrivals increasing by 13%, while arrivals to Sub-Saharan Africa grew by 5%.

Middle East (+ 5%) received 58 million international tourist arrivals in 2017, with sustained growth in some destinations and a strong recovery in others.

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