According to the Barometer of the World Tourism Organization, a publication that tracks trends in tourism, the highest growth is recorded in the countries of Asia and the Pacific, while Europe leads as the world’s largest tourist region.The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), as a specialized agency of the United Nations that promotes responsible, sustainable and affordable tourism, currently includes 158 countries and numerous representatives in the private sector, educational institutions, tourism organizations and communities.Also, the UNWTO publishes the World Tourism Barometer six times a year, a publication that regularly monitors short-term trends in tourism to provide leading tourism “stakeholders” with relevant information and up-to-date analysis of developments within international tourism.According to the mentioned publication, in the first four months of 2018, trends within international tourism exceed expectations. Compared to the first quarter of 2017, this year the number of tourist visits in the same time period increased by 6%, which exceeded even the forecasts of the World Tourism Organization by 4 to 5% growth. Growth is led by the countries of Asia and the Pacific (8%), followed by Europe (7%), Africa (6%), the Middle East (4%) and both Americas (3%).For the second quarter of 2018, namely the period from May to August, the last panel of tourism experts organized by the UNWTO concluded that the same is the most optimistic tourist period in the last decade. Special attention was drawn to the return of Africa, the Middle East and parts of Europe, as attractive and desirable tourist destinations.From a financial point of view, revenues in the tourism industries grew by 5% in 2017 or in other words, reaching $ 1.332 billion globally, which is $ 94 billion more than in 2016. In the countries of the Middle East, revenues in 2017 increased by 13%, and in the countries of Africa and Europe, which are the strongest tourist centers after the Middle East, there was an increase of 8%. Finally, the most generous was Europe, which recorded a growth of 50 billion dollars in the tourism sector, which is a total of 512 billion dollars, or 38% of world international tourism revenues.”International tourism continues to record significant growth, and this in turn is reflected in job creation in many local markets. The growth we are witnessing reminds us that we must continue to work on capacity building so that we can develop and successfully manage tourism in a sustainable way, create smart destinations and exploit the potential of new technologies and innovations.”, Said UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili.The period from January to April represents 28% of the total annual number of arrivals and overnight stays, and they include the winter games season in the northern hemisphere, the summer season in the southern hemisphere, then the Chinese New Year and the Easter holidays. However, the UNWTO warns, the first quarter of the year for most of the countries covered by this survey represents a lull in the season or some form of pre-season and is not necessarily an indicator of a year-round trend.The aforementioned analyzes are limited solely to available data, for example for France, the United Kingdom, the United States and China, relevant information for the first quarter of 2018 is missing. Also, data are limited for certain regions of Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, Eastern and Central Europe.However, according to the available information, we can summarize that all regions covered by the Barometer have felt an increase in terms of international arrivals. In Asia and the Pacific, the most attractive are Southeast Asia with a 10% increase and South Asia with a 9% growth. Europe still remains the world’s largest tourist region, while the most attractive destinations are the areas of southern and western Europe and the Mediterranean with a growth of 8%. Despite the lack of relevant data for the US, the largest tourist region in both Americas, currently the best results are, logically, South America with 8% growth. After turbulent periods of unrest and conflict, Africa is determined to improve. The most attractive countries in Africa are in the Sub-Saharan region and recorded an increase of 6%, followed by North Africa with a growth of 4%.In the last four months, a decline in the segment of tourist visits and overnight stays has been recorded in the Caribbean, but this stagnation in performance can be attributed to last year’s hurricanes and recovery from the consequences of these devastating natural disasters.The next edition of the Barometer is scheduled for August 2018.
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