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Travel outlook more resilient as global tourism jumps 6%

Travel outlook more resilient as global tourism jumps 6%

Friday, July 14, 2017

TORONTO — International tourism worldwide is up 6% with industry confidence “reaching its highest levels in a decade”, according to the World Tourism Organization. The latest stats suggest that 2017’s travellers, while wary of negative events like terror attacks, are inclined to push on with their travel plans as regions from Europe to the Middle East to the Americas post inbound tourism increases.

Destinations worldwide received 369 million international overnight visitors in the first four months of 2017, 21 million more than in the same months of 2016 (+6%), according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer.
Sustained growth in most major destinations and a steady rebound in others drove results and prospects for May-August 2017 “remain high”, says the WTO.

Most of 2016’s strong performers maintained momentum, while destinations that struggled in previous years continued to rebound in the first part of 2017, said the WTO. Regions showing positive growth included Europe (+6%), Asia and the Pacific (6%), the Americas (+4%), the Middle East (+10%) and Africa (+8%).

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“Destinations that were affected by negative events during 2016 are showing clear signs of recovery in a very short period of time, and this is very welcoming news for all, but particularly for those whose livelihoods depend on tourism in these destinations,” said UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai.

Here’s a look at the regional results:

  • International arrivals in Europe (+6%) rebounded in January-April after mixed results last year, as confidence returned to some destinations that were impacted by security incidents, while others continued to grow strongly. Results improved particularly in Southern Mediterranean Europe (+9% as compared to +1% in 2016) and Western Europe (+4% as opposed to +0% in 2016).
  • Northern Europe (+9%) continued to record strong growth, while Central and Eastern Europe recorded 4% more international arrivals, in line with results of last year.
  • In Asia and the Pacific, international arrivals were up 6% through April with sound results across all four subregions. South Asia (+14%) led growth, followed by Oceania (+7%), South-East Asia (+6%) and North-East Asia (+5%).
  • International arrivals in the Americas were up 4% with strong results in South America and Central America (both +7%), while arrivals in North America grew by 3% and in the Caribbean by 2%.
  • Limited data available for Africa points to an 8% increase in international arrivals, with North Africa (+18%) recovering strongly. International arrivals in the Middle East rebounded by an estimated 10% following a 4% decline in 2016.
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The WTO said prospects for the May – August 2017 time frame are “the most optimistic in a decade”, driven by upbeat expectations in Europe. The May-August period includes the peak tourism season in most of the world’s major tourism destinations and source markets.

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