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International Tourist Arrivals Set a New Record in 2017

News World Tourism Organization announced freshest data about the international tourism results of 2017. Having carefully gathered and calculated the data provided by different regions of the world, UNWTO published a truly remarkable result. Last year, international tourist arrivals added another 7% and reached a new milestone – 1.322 million visitors. According to the UNWTO forecast, the strong growth will continue in 2018, but at a slightly slower rate of 4% - 5%.

The latest World Tourism Barometer counts overnight international visitors. Their number increased by 7% in 2017, featuring the highest result in seven years. Starting from 2010, international tourist arrivals have been growing by 4% or higher, and this rate is expected to continue in coming years.

Europe is again on top of the list with the growth of 8% higher than in 2016. It’s a fantastic result for such a mature and popular region. Last year, Mediterranean destinations were the main moving force of the region. Africa also enjoyed an 8% increase in the number of international tourist arrivals. Other destinations posted lower results. Asia and the Pacific attracted 6% more visitors than in 2016, the Middle East recorded growth of 5%, and the Americas – 3%.

One of the reasons for such a strong result was in the global economic growth and, therefore, increased demand for both emerging and traditional destinations. After several years of declines, Brazil and the Russian Federation performed better as source markets. That said, the importance of the tourism sector will only grow in future. As it is already the third export sector in the world, the importance of tourism as a job creation method and a way to help local communities to prosper will only grow. Yet, at the same time it is important to develop communities together with sustainable goals, so the influx of tourists will not ruin local environment.

In 2017, Europe attracted 671 million international visitors. If analyzing by regions, Southern and Mediterranean Europe greeted 13% more visitors than in 2016, followed by Western Europe (+7%). Northern and Central Europe enjoyed 5% more international visitors. Asia and the Pacific reached a twice less number of international tourist arrivals – 324 million. South Asia featured the highest growth (+10%), South-East Asia served 8% more visitors, and Oceania – 7% more. The Americas were visited by 207 million foreign tourists. South America was the best performing region with the result of 7%, followed by the Caribbean (+4%). Africa reached a record number of tourist arrivals – 62 million, and the result of the international tourist arrivals to the Middle East was 58 million.


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