International tourist arrivals worldwide grew by 4% between January and June 2016 compared to the same period last year.
Destinations worldwide received 561 million international tourists (overnight visitors), 21 million more than in 2015, according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer.
Asia and the Pacific demonstrated renewed strength this first half of 2016, receiving 9% more international arrivals, the highest growth across world regions. In the Americas, international arrivals increased by 4%, led by Central America and South America. Europe (+3%) showed mixed results, with solid growth in many destinations offset by weaker performance in others. In Africa (+5%), Sub-Saharan destinations rebounded strongly, while North Africa continued to report weak results. Limited data for the Middle East points to an estimated decrease of 9% in international arrivals this six-month period, though results vary from destination to destination.
China, the world’s top source market, continued to report double-digit growth in expenditure on international travel (+20% in the first quarter of 2016), benefiting destinations in the region and beyond. The United States, the world’s second largest market, increased expenditure on outbound travel by 8% through July, thanks to a strong currency. Third largest market, Germany, reported a 4% increase in expenditure through July. Other markets that showed robust demand for outbound travel in the first half of 2016 were Spain (+20%), Norway (+11%), Australia (+10%) and Japan (+6%). Meanwhile expenditure from the Russian Federation and Brazil continues to be weak, reflecting the economic constraints and depreciated currencies in both markets.
Written by : ian McIntosh