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Wed, 22 May 2019

UNWTO Forecasts 3% - 4% Growth in International Tourist Arrivals for 2019

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.”

Redang Island in Terengganu, Malaysia. Picture by Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com Click to enlarge.

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 Chinese market.

“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.

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