Tourism numbers grow by 4%


UNWTO World Tourism Barometer latest statistics show international tourist arrivals up 4% in the first half of 2016.

International tourist arrivals worldwide grew by 4% between January and June 2016 compared to 2015. Destinations worldwide received 561 million international tourists (overnight visitors), 21 million more than in 2015, according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer.

Asia and the Pacific demonstrated renewed strength, receiving 9% more international arrivals, showing the highest growth across world regions. In the Americas, international arrivals increased by 4%, led by Central America and South America. Europe (+3%) showed mixed results, with solid growth in many destinations offset by weaker performance in others. In Africa (+5%), Sub-Saharan destinations rebounded strongly, while North Africa continued to report weak results. The Middle East saw a decrease of 9%, though results vary from destination to destination.

Growth accelerated in Asia and the Pacific with international arrivals up 9% June, driven by robust intraregional demand. Oceania (+10%) led growth, followed by North-East Asia, South-East Asia (both +9%) and South Asia (+7%).

International tourist arrivals to Europe grew by 3% with mixed results across destinations. Northern Europe and Central and Eastern Europe both recorded 5% more international arrivals. Though many destinations posted positive results, growth in both Western Europe (+1%) and Southern Mediterranean Europe (+2%) was slow.

International arrivals in the Americas were up 4%. Strong US outbound flows continued to benefit many destinations across the region. Central America and South America (both +6%) led growth, while arrivals in both the Caribbean and North America grew by 4%.

Africa saw a 5% increase in international arrivals, with Sub-Saharan Africa (+12%) recovering vigorously, but North Africa down by 9%. International arrivals in the Middle East decreased by 9%, with mixed results among destinations.

The first half of the year typically accounts for around 46% of the total international arrivals count of the year. For the remainder of 2016 prospects are positive. Confidence is highest in Africa, the Americas and Asia and the Pacific, while Europe and the Middle East are more cautious.

China, the world’s top source market, continued to report double-digit growth in expenditure on international travel, benefiting destinations in the region and beyond. The United States, the world’s second largest market, increased expenditure on outbound travel thanks to a strong currency. Third largest market, Germany, reported a small increase in expenditure. Other markets that showed robust demand for outbound travel in the first half of 2016 were Spain (+20%), Norway (+11%), Australia (+10%) and Japan (+6%). Expenditure from the Russian Federation and Brazil continues to be weak, reflecting the economic constraints and depreciated currencies in both markets.




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