International tourist arrivals grew by high 7% in 2017 to reach a total of 1,322 million, according to the latest World Tourism Barometer.According to data reported by destinations around the world, it is estimated that international tourist arrivals worldwide increased 7% in 2017. This is above the sustained and consistent trend of 4% or higher growth since 2010.
Mediterranean destinations are leading. Europe recorded extraordinary results with 8% more international arrivals than last year. Africa has 8% increase. Asia and the Pacific recorded 6% growth, the Middle East 5% and the Americas 3%.
2017 was characterised by sustained growth in many destinations and a recovery in those that suffered decreases in previous years. Global economic situation partly shaped those results. As the third export sector in the world, tourism is essential for job creation and the prosperity of communities around the world.
This strong momentum is expected to continue in 2018 .
Based on current trends, economic prospects and the outlook by the UNWTO Panel of Experts, UNWTO projects international tourist arrivals worldwide to grow at a rate of 4%-5% in 2018. Europe and the Americas are expected to grow by 3.5%-4.5%, Asia and the Pacific by 5%-6%, Africa by 5%-7% and the Middle East by 4%-6%.
UNWTO results for 2017.
International tourist arrivals in Europe reached 671 million in 2017, 8% increase . Growth is mostly caused by the results in Southern and Mediterranean Europe (+13%). Western Europe (+7%), Northern Europe and Central and Eastern Europe (both +5%) .
Asia and the Pacific (+6%) recorded 324 million international tourist arrivals in 2017. Arrivals in South Asia grew 10%, in South-East Asia 8% and in Oceania 7%. Arrivals to North-East Asia increased by 3%.
The Americas (+3%) had 207 million international arrivals in 2017, with most destinations enjoying positive results. South America 7% growth, Central America and the Caribbean both +4%. In North America (+2%), robust results in Mexico and Canada contrasted with a decrease in the United States, the region’s largest destination.
In Africa, growth in 2017 is estimated at 8% and recorded 62 million international arrivals. North Africa has strong recovery with arrivals growing by 13% and Sub-Saharan Africa’s arrivals increased by 5%.
The Middle East (+5%) received 58 million international tourist arrivals in 2017.