According to the latest World Tourism Barometer
from the UNWTO, international tourism continued to grow in Q1
2019, albeit at a slower rate when compared with the previous two years.
Globally, international tourist arrivals were up
by 4%. The Middle East (+8%) and Asia and the Pacific
(+6%) experienced the highest increase in international arrivals,
with arrivals to Europe and Africa increasing by 4%, and the
Americas up by 3%.
“International tourism continues to perform
strongly worldwide fuelled by a positive economy, increased air
capacity and visa facilitation,” said UNWTO Secretary-General, Zurab Pololikashvili. “Growth in arrivals is easing slightly after
two years of exceptional results, but the sector continues to
outpace the global rate of economic growth.”
Europe, the world’s largest tourism region,
reported solid growth (+4%), led by destinations in Southern and
Mediterranean Europe and Central and Eastern Europe (both +5%).
Growth in Africa was driven by the ongoing recovery in North
Africa (+11%), while the Americas, including the Caribbean (+17%) rebounded
strongly after weak results in 2018, following the impact of
hurricanes Irma and Maria in late 2017.
In Asia and the Pacific,
results for the first three months showed a 6% increase led by
North-East Asia (+9%) and a very solid performance from the
“With this growth comes greater responsibility
for translating it into better jobs and better lives,” Mr. Pololikashvili
added. “We need to continue investing in
innovation, digital transformation and education so that we can
harness the many benefits tourism can bring while at the same time
mitigating its impact on the environment and society with a better
management of tourism flows.”
The UNWTO has forecast a growth of 3% to 4% in
international tourist arrivals for 2019.