tourist arrivals in July and August totalled over 300 million for
the first time ever according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism
Many destinations even reported double-digit growth, in
particular in the Mediterranean.
Between January and
August 2017, 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% 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
By UNWTO regions,
growth was strongest in Africa (+9%) and Europe (+8%), followed by
Asia and the Pacific (+6%), Middle East (+5%) and Americas
“Tourism is a major economic engine and
employment generator, contributing to the improvement of
livelihoods of millions of people around the world,” stated UNWTO
Taleb Rifai. “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.
Maximizing the social and economic benefits of tourism while
minimizing 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.”
In Europe (+8%), international arrivals
rebounded in both Southern and Mediterranean Europe (+12%) and
Western Europe (+7%) following a weak 2016. Arrivals grew by 6% in
Northern Europe and by 4% in Central and Eastern Europe between
January and August 2017.
Africa (+9%) recorded the fastest
growth of all five regions, thanks to the strong rebound in North
Africa (+15%) and the sound results of Sub-Saharan Africa (+5%).
South Asia (+10%) led growth in Asia and the Pacific (+6%),
followed by South-East Asia (+8%) and Oceania (+7%), while results
in North-East Asia (+3%) were rather mixed.
destinations in the Americas (+3%) continued to enjoy positive
results, led by South America (+7%), followed by Central America
and the Caribbean (both +4%). In North America (+2%), robust
results in Mexico and Canada contrast with a decrease in the United States, the region’s largest destination.
the Middle East (5%) are mixed, with some destinations strongly
rebounding from negative growth in previous years, while others
reported declines through August.
Among the top 10 markets, international tourism expenditure
grew fastest in China (+19%), the Republic of Korea (+12%), the
United States (+8%) and Canada (+7%). Expenditure from Germany,
the United Kingdom, Australia, Italy and Hong Kong (China) grew between 3% and 5%, while France reported a modest 1% increase.
Worth noting is that beyond the top 10 source markets is the
significant recovery in demand from the Russian Federation (+27%)
and Brazil (+35%) after a few years of declines in tourism
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