International tourist arrivals grew six per cent in the first four months of 2018, compared to the same period last year, not only continuing the strong 2017 trend, but exceeding UNWTO’s forecast for 2018.
Growth was led by Asia and the Pacific (up eight per cent) and Europe (up seven per cent).
Africa (up six per cent), the Middle East (up four per cent) and the Americas (up three per cent) also recorded sound results.
Earlier this year, UNWTO’s forecast for 2018 was between four and five per cent.
“International tourism continues to show significant growth worldwide, and this translates into job creation in many economies.
“This growth reminds us of the need to increase our capacity to develop and manage tourism in a sustainable way, building smart destinations and making the most of technology and innovation,” said UNWTO secretary general, Zurab Pololikashvili.
From January to April 2018, international arrivals increased in all regions, led by Asia and the Pacific (up eight per cent), with south-east Asia (up ten per cent) and south Asia (up nine per cent) driving results.
The world’s largest tourism region, Europe, also performed strongly during this four-month period (up seven per cent), pulled ahead by the destinations of southern and Mediterranean Europe, and western Europe (both up eight per cent).
The limited information coming from Africa and the Middle East points to six and four per cent growth, respectively, confirming the rebound of Middle East destinations and the consolidation of the growth in Africa.
Confidence in global tourism remains strong according to the latest UNWTO Panel of Tourism Experts survey.
The panel’s outlook for the May-August period is one the most optimistic in a decade, led by the particularly upbeat sentiment in Africa, the Middle East and Europe.
Experts’ evaluation of tourism performance in the first four months of 2018 was also robust, in line with the strong results recorded in many destinations around the world.