International tourism up 4% in 2019, WTO reports

SAINT PETERSBURG, International tourist arrivals grew 4 percent from January to June 2019, compared to the same period last year, according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer published ahead of the 23rd World Tourism Organisation General Assembly.

Growth was led by the Middle East (+8 percent) and Asia and the Pacific (+6 percent). International arrivals in Europe grew 4 percent, while Africa (+3 percent) and the Americas (+2 percent) enjoyed more moderate growth.

The Middle East (+8 percent) saw two strong quarters, reflecting a positive winter season, as well as an increase in demand during Ramadan in May and Eid Al-Fitr in June.

Destinations worldwide received 671 million international tourist arrivals between January and June 2019, almost 30 million more than in the same period of 2018 and a continuation of the growth recorded last year.

Growth in arrivals is returning to its historic trend and is in line with UNWTO’s forecast of 3 to 4 percent growth in international tourist arrivals for the full year 2019, as reported in the January Barometer.

So far, 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.

Source: Emirates News Agency