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ITB Berlin: Tourism continues to outpace economic growth around the world
The IPK World travel Monitor figures were released earlier at ITB Berlin

ITB Berlin: Tourism continues to outpace economic growth around the world

In 2018, the number of outbound journeys increased by 5.5 per cent, resulting in 1.4 billion international trips.

Hence, once again tourism is a key growth driver of the global economy, which “only” grew by 3.7 per cent in comparison.

Growth is coming from all regions worldwide, also from the mature markets Europe and North America, but the strongest gains came from Asian and Latin American markets.

For 2019, considering a slowing world economy, also a slightly lower growth rate is expected for international travel.

Overtourism could become another growing problem for the tourism industry, with more and more international travellers feeling the effect of overcrowded destinations.


These findings are based on latest results of IPK’s World travel Monitor, an annual survey analysing the outbound travel behaviour in more than 60 countries worldwide, covering over 90 per cent of the global outbound demand.

Trends for the first eight months of 2018 can be found in the ITB World Travel Trends Report which was published today by ITB Berlin.

Asia was the strongest source region last year, with overall seven per cent more outbound trips.

Latin America followed with a plus of six per cent, while there were five per cent more trips from North America and Europe.

Looking at the destination regions, once again Asia but also Europe were the global winners by receiving six per cent more international trips each, while the Americas were clearly below with a plus of three per cent.

Regarding destination countries, one of the biggest changes was the stagnation of trips to Spain in 2018, a destination that boomed in the recent past.

On the other hand, destinations that were avoided by tourist in the past are recovering, above all Turkey with 8.5 million more visitors in 2018 compared to 2017.

Holidays once again outperform business trips, due to the continuous downward path of traditional business trips, while MICE trips continued on a growth path.

With international travellers staying slightly longer and also spending more when abroad, the turnover of international trips overall increased by eight per cent.

For the second year in a row, IPK International measures the perceptions of overtourism among international travellers.

While residents in affected destinations have been protesting for years, also travellers are feeling more and more impaired by the onslaught of tourist in particularly sought-after cities.

IPK’s latest survey results show that meanwhile more than every tenth international traveller was negatively affected by overtourism.

This is an increase of 30 per cent over the last 12 months.

Cities strongly affected by overtourism were Beijing, Mexico City, Venice and Amsterdam, but also Istanbul and Florence.

In particular, travellers from Asia felt a lot more affected by overtourism compared to e.g. Europeans.

Also, according to the statistics, young travellers are a lot more bothered by overcrowding compared to older travellers.