After record highs in 2018, international tourism numbers have continued to grow in 2019, according to UNWTO.

International tourist arrivals grew by 4% in the first six months of 2019, compared with the same period in 2018, according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer published ahead of the 23rd World Tourism Organization General Assembly in St Petersburg.

The world received 671 million international tourists in the first half of 2019, with growth being led by the Middle East (8%) and Asia-Pacific (6%), while international arrivals in Europe grew 4%, in Africa 3% and the Americas 2%, according to the UNWTO’s figures.

“The drivers of these results have been a strong economy, affordable air travel, increased air connectivity and enhanced visa facilitation. However, weaker economic indicators, prolonged uncertainty about Brexit, trade and technological tensions and rising geopolitical challenges have started to take a toll on business and consumer confidence, as reflected in a more cautious UNWTO Confidence Index,” said an UNWTO press release.

The Middle East’s figures can be largely attributed to an increase in demand during Ramadan in May and Eid Al Fitr in June, while demand across Asia-Pacific is mostly fuelled by Chinese outbound travel, according to the UNWTO barometer.

Intra-regional demand drove much of Europe’s growth, as well as demand from markets such as the US, China, Japan and the countries of the Gulf Co-operation Council. However, the performance among major European source markets was uneven, amid weakening economies, according to the UNWTO. 

Chinese outbound tourism accounted for about 14% of overseas trips in the first half of 2019 on a global scale, but spending on international travel was 4% lower in real terms than in the first half of 2018, perhaps as a result of trade tensions with the US and the slight depreciation of the renminbi.

Outbound travel from the US, the world’s second largest spender, remained robust (7%), supported by a strong dollar. In Europe, spending on international tourism by France (8%) and Italy (7%) was strong, though the UK (3%) and Germany (2%) reported more modest figures.

This article is sourced from fDi Magazine
fDi Magazine

Global greenfield investment trends

Crossborder investment monitor

fDi Markets is the only online database tracking crossborder greenfield investment covering all sectors and countries worldwide. It provides real-time monitoring of investment projects, capital investment and job creation with powerful tools to track and profile companies investing overseas.

Click here to find out more about fDi Markets

Corporate location benchmarking tool

fDi Benchmark is the only online tool to benchmark the competitiveness of countries and cities in over 50 sectors. Its comprehensive location data series covers the main cost and quality competitiveness indicators for over 300 locations around the world.

Click here to find out more about fDi Benchmark

Research report

fDi Intelligence provides customised reports and data research which deliver vital business intelligence to corporations, investment promotion agencies, economic development organisations, consulting firms and research institutions.

Find out more.