United Nations World Tourism Organization says international arrivals reach 1.4 billion two years ahead of forecasts
MADRID, Spain - The United Nations World Tourism Organization estimates that worldwide international tourist arrivals (overnight visitors) increased 6% to 1.4 billion in 2018, clearly above the 3.7% growth registered in the global economy.
The largest drivers to growth in 2018 came from the Middle East (+10%), Africa (+7%), Asia and the Pacific and Europe (both at +6%), while arrivals to the Americas were below the world average at 3%.
“The growth of tourism in recent years confirms that the sector is today one of the most powerful drivers of economic growth and development. It is our responsibility to manage it in a sustainable manner and translate this expansion into real benefits for all countries, and particularly, to all local communities, creating opportunities for jobs and entrepreneurship and leaving no one behind” said UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili. “This is why UNWTO is focusing 2019 on education, skills and job creation.”
In the current calendar year, UNWTO forecasts growth to contnue at a more historical norm - three to four percent.
“Digitalisation, new business models, more affordable travel and societal changes are expected to continue shaping our sector, so both destination and companies need to adapt if they want to remain competitive”, added Pololikashvili.
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