UNWTO Sees Strong Tourism Results In Q1

Caroline Booth, Open Jaw

According to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, destinations worldwide received 369 million international tourists (overnight visitors) in the first four months of the year, 21 million more than in the same months of 2016. 

Most of 2016’s strong performers maintained, while destinations that did not do well in previous years rebounded in the first part of 2017, particularly for the Middle East, Africa and Europe. Asia, the Pacific and the Americas continued to do well.

“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.

International arrivals by regional

Europe: Southern Mediterranean Europe saw a 9% increase compared to 1% in 2016, and Western Europe gained 4% compared to 0% in 2016. Northern Europe saw an increase of 9% while Central and Eastern Europe recorded a 4% increase.

Asia and the Pacific: International arrivals were up 6% through April with good results across all four sub-regions: South Asia (+14%); Oceania (+7%), South-East Asia (+6%) and North-East Asia (+5%).

The Americas:  International arrivals were up 4% lead by South America and Central America that both saw a 7% rise. North America increased by 3% and the Caribbean by 2%.

Africa: North Africa saw a strong 18% increase, while the Middle East rebounded by an estimated 10% following a 4% decline in 2016.

Experts evaluating tourism performance expect the current May to August period to show positive results as well. This period includes the peak tourism season in most of the world’s major tourism destinations.

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