Latest News

Back to Latest News back

 

Almost a billion global tourists on the move in the first nine months of 2016

Almost a billion global tourists on the move in the first nine months of 2016
November 8, 2016

Destinations around the world welcomed 956 million international tourists between January and September 2016, 34 million more than in the same period of 2015, representing a 4% increase.

The figures, released in the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, show the demand for international tourism remaining robust in the first nine months of 2016, though growing at a somewhat more moderate pace.

After a strong start of the year, growth was slower in the second quarter of 2016 to pick up again in the third quarter of the year. While most destinations report encouraging results, others continue to struggle with the impact of negative events, either in their country or in their region.

Commenting on the results, UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai stated “tourism is one of the most resilient and fastest-growing economic sectors but it is also very sensitive to risks, both actual and perceived.

“As such, the sector must continue to work together with governments and stakeholders to minimise risks, respond effectively and build confidence among travellers.

“No destination is immune to risks. We need to increase cooperation in addressing these global threats, namely those related to safety and security. And we need to make tourism an integral part of emergency planning and response.”

Rifai’s comments were made ahead of the Ministerial Meeting on Safe, Secure and Seamless Travel to be held at the World Travel Market in London on 9th November.

Rifai added “real crises are often magnified or distorted by misperception and affected destinations are facing important challenges, although at the global level demand remains strong.

“We need to support these countries in restoring confidence, as doing so will benefit the entire tourism sector and society as a whole.”

Regional results
Asia and the Pacific led growth across world regions, with international tourist arrivals (overnight visitors) up 9% through September. All four subregions shared in this growth. Many destinations reported double-digit growth, with the Republic of Korea (+34%), Vietnam (+36%), Japan (+24%) and Sri Lanka (+15%) in the lead.

In Europe, international arrivals grew by 2% between January and September 2016, with solid growth in most destinations. Nonetheless, double-digit increases in major destinations such as Spain, Hungary, Portugal and Ireland were offset by feeble results in France, Belgium and Turkey. As a consequence, Northern Europe grew by 6% and Central and Eastern Europe by 5% while results were weaker in Western Europe (-1%) and Southern Mediterranean Europe (+0%).

International tourist arrivals in the Americas increased by 4% through September. South America (+7%) and Central America (+6%) led results, followed closely by the Caribbean and North America (both +4%).

In Africa (+8%), sub-Saharan destinations rebounded strongly throughout the year, while North Africa picked up in the third quarter. Available data for the Middle East points to a 6% decrease in arrivals, though results vary from destination to destination. Results started to gradually improve in the second half of the year in both North Africa and the Middle East.

Strong demand for outbound travel
The great majority of leading source markets in the world reported increases in international tourism expenditure during the first three to nine months of 2016.

Among the top five source markets, China, the world’s top source market, continues to drive demand, reporting double-digit growth in spending (+19%). Likewise, robust results come from the United States (+9%), which benefited many destinations in the Americas and beyond. Germany reported a 5% increase in expenditure, the United Kingdom, a 10% increase, and France, 3% growth.

In the remainder of the top ten, tourism spending grew notably in Australia and the Republic of Korea (both +9%), and moderately in Italy (+3%). By contrast, expenditure from the Russian Federation declined 37% and from Canada a slight 2%.

Beyond the top 10, eight other markets reported double-digit growth: Egypt (+38%), Argentina (+27%), Spain (+19%), India (+16%), Thailand (+15%), Ukraine (+15%), Ireland (+12%) and Norway (+11%).

Prospects remain positive
Prospects for tourism remain positive for the remaining quarter of 2016 according to the UNWTO Confidence Index.

The members of the UNWTO Panel of Tourism Experts are confident about the September-December period, mostly in Africa, the Americas and Asia and the Pacific. Experts in Europe and the Middle East are somewhat more cautious.

Note: Results reflect preliminary data reported to date and are subject to revision.

Images: The Skypark at Singapore's Marina Bay Sands (top), Sydney Harbour (middle - courtesy Hamilton Lund) and Taleb Rifai (below).

4th November 2016 - ADDRESSING CLIMATE CHANGE A MUST FOR SUSTAINABLE TOURISM PROGRAMS

10th September 2016 - UNITED NATIONS DECLARES 2017 AS THE INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF SUSTAINABLE TOURISM FOR DEVELOPMENT

23rd March 2016 - GLOBAL TOURISM INDUSTRY ADDED 7.2 MILLION NEW JOBS IN 2015

15th March 2016 - UNWTO HEAD ADVOCATES FOR SAFER, EASIER TRAVEL IN 2016 

30th November 2014 - UN REPORT SHOWS GROWING VALUE OF GLOBAL ADVENTURE TOURISM

12th December 2014 - ANGER OVER AUSTRALIA’S WITHDRAWL FROM UNWTO


Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.

 

supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

MYRTHA POOLS

Founded in 1961, Myrtha Pools® quickly became Italy’s première swimming pool company, and has since grown into one of the world's leading swimming pool construction…

read more

Aquatics / Design / Play / Waterparks / Wellness

 
 

WATERPLAY Solutions Corp

Whether your goal is increasing your centre's revenues or creating an engaging environment, why not add play to your project? If you're looking for stylish aquatic play features, kid-tested…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Play / Recreation / Waterparks

 
 

Polin Waterparks

Polin was founded in Istanbul in 1976, and has since grown into a leading company in the waterparks industry. Today Polin is one of the world leaders in the design, production, and installation of…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Play / Waterparks

 
 
 

SOLARWISE NSW DOLPHIN TECH

Solarwise NSW / Dolphin Tech were the first and are the largest Dolphin dealer in NSW with a full service facility and full range of spare parts "on the shelf". We also provide on site…

read more

Aquatics / Venues

 
 

EventPro

At EventPro Software, we are proudly different from our industry competitors. We have a development-driven culture and 20 years’ experience in event, venue, and catering management software,…

read more

Events / Hospitality / Technology / Ticketing / Venues

 
 

Mattioli

Mattioli provides award winning painting, flooring and waterproofing services to the aquatics and recreation sector. We’re recognised as the leading contractor in the industry with award-winning…

read more

Aquatics / Recreation / Safety

 
 

HRMWEB

At easyemployer we've come up with a software solution that manages one of your most important, and often most costly, business resources - your staff. We are helping 100s of clients to…

read more

Finance / Fitness / Technology

 
 
 
 

get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business