UNWTO forecasts 4pc growth in int'l tourist arrivals this year

_A Monitor Report1 Jun, 2019 | 728 Views|-+
Madrid : 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 per cent. The Middle East (+8 per cent) and Asia Pacific (+6 per cent) experienced the highest increase in international arrivals, with arrivals to Europe and Africa increasing by 4 per cent, and the Americas up by 3 per cent.

"International tourism continues to perform strongly worldwide fuelled by a positive economy, increased air capacity and visa facilitation," said Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General, UNWTO. "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 per cent), led by destinations in Southern and Mediterranean Europe and Central and Eastern Europe (both +5 per cent).

Growth in Africa was driven by the ongoing recovery in North Africa (+11 per cent), while the Americas, including the Caribbean (+17 per cent) rebounded strongly after weak results in 2018, following the impact of hurricanes Irma and Maria in late 2017.

In Asia Pacific, results for the first three months showed a 6 per cent increase led by North-East Asia (+9 per cent) and a very solid performance from the Chinese market.

"With this growth comes greater responsibility for translating it into better jobs and better lives," 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 per cent to 4 per cent in international tourist arrivals for 2019.

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