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International Tourism is on the Rise in H1 2019

News The World Tourism Organization has recently published its latest issue of the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. The document only proves that international tourism is growing and doesn’t really show any signs of slowing down. Moreover, it added as much as 4% from January to June 2019.

It looks like hotels in Dubai, Istanbul and other popular destinations in the Middle East are the major gainers in H1 2019 as this region posted the biggest growth of +8%. It is followed by Asia and the Pacific (+6%), Europe (+4%), Africa (+2%), and the Americas (+2%). Over the first six months of 2019, there were as many as 671 million international tourist arrivals in the world. That is almost 30 million arrivals more than during the same period a year ago.

The worldwide tourism growth of 4% is not surprising as this is exactly what UNWTO forecasted. The expected growth in the whole year of 2019 is between 3% and 4%. There are many factors that drive international tourism and help it develop. These are simpler visa requirements, enhanced air connectivity, cheaper airplane tickets, and economic growth. Of course, there are several major drawbacks that prevent the development of international tourism and make people hesitant to travel to certain destinations. Here it is important to mention geopolitical challenges and recent trade wars, as well as continued Brexit problems. They decrease consumer confidence and slow down business tourism.

Europe, the most visited region in the world, added 4% in H1 2019. After a powerful start in Q1, the region didn’t slow down in the second quarter. April and June were particularly strong months with the growth of international arrivals of +8% and +6% respectively. Intraregional travel was strong and major source markets for Europe (the USA, China, Japan, and the GCC countries) performed well, helping the region to achieve positive results.

This above the average result of Asia and the Pacific (+6%) is mostly the result of China’s outbound travel. South Asia and North-East Asia are the fastest developing destinations (+7%). East Asia had a lower increase in the number of tourist arrivals (+5%) while Oceania remained almost flat with just +1%. The Middle East enjoyed a particularly strong first half of the year (+8%)and extremely high demand during Ramadan in May and Eid Al-Fitr in June.


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