International arrivals increased by double the historical rate in 2018

Travellers at airport

The latest data from the United Nationals World Tourism Organisation estimates that worldwide international tourist arrivals increased 6 percent to 1.4 billion in 2018.

Growth was led by the Middle East, Africa and the Pacific, and Europe which all experienced growth of 6 percent or above. The Americas were below the world average at 3 percent.

“The growth of tourism in recent years confirms that the sector is today one of the most powerful drivers of economic growth and development. It is our responsibility to manage it in a sustainable manner and translate this expansion into real benefits for all countries, and particularly, to all local communities, creating opportunities for jobs and entrepreneurship and leaving no one behind,” said Zurab Pololikashvili, secretary general, UNWTO.

“This is why UNWTO is focussing 2019 on education, skills, and job creation.”

The Asia-Pacific region had a notable 343 million international tourist arrivals in 2018, a 6 percent from 2017. Of the Asia-Pacific areas, Oceania had the least growth (3 percent) with South-East Asia growing the most (7 percent).

UNWTO is projecting the international arrivals overall to increase 3 to 4 percent next year, which is in line with historical growth trends.