For the first nine months of 2013 the growth rate of international tourism amounted to 5% according to the latest Barometer UNWTO world tourism. In the period from January to September the number of international tourist arrivals, according to data provided by destinations around the world increased by some 41 million exceeding initial forecasts of UNWTO and creates an important incentive for host countries.
For the first nine months of the year the number of international tourist arrivals grew by 5%, reaching a record 845 million to approximately 41 million compared with the same period in 2012. The main driver behind this growth were Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, in which the indicator of tourist arrivals increased by 6%.
“International tourism continues to grow exceeding the expectations of growth, facilitating economic growth both in developed countries and in growing countries, and contributing to the creation of jobs, provision of GDP and support the balance of payments of many destinations” said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai. “Particularly encouraged by the good results in many European destinations, where the tourism sector is undoubtedly one of the main drivers of economic recovery”.
Europe exceeds expectations
In Europe, the most visited region, international tourist arrivals increased by 6% due primarily to results in Central and Eastern Europe (+7%) and southern and Mediterranean Europe (+6%), which were above average. That rate of growth exceeded initial forecast for 2013 and two times exceeded the average growth rate of international tourism in Europe since 2000 (+2.7% per year in the period 2000 – 2012).
Asia – T youkioske region (+6%) continued to thrive, helped by the successful performance of South-East Asia (+12%).
American region (+3%) reported comparatively weaker results, with better performance achieved by North America (+4%) and Central America (+3%).
In Africa (+5%) of the growth was the recovery of tourism in North Africa (+6%), while in the middle East the rate of growth was marginal (+0.3%).
The growth of tourist incomes confirms positive trend
The positive trend recorded in international tourist arrivals, is confirmed by the data on international tourism income for the first six – ten months of this year, reported by destinations around the world.
Among the 25 countries receiving the highest tourism revenues, double-digit growth rates were registered in ten destinations – the United States of America (+11%), Macao (China) (+10%), United Kingdom (+18%), Thailand (+28%), Hong Kong (China) (+21%), Turkey (+13%), India (+13%), Japan (+23%), Greece (+15%) and Taiwan (province of China) (+12 %).
A rapid increase in spending on outbound tourism in China and Russia
Among the ten best guides tourists markets were the leaders of the Russian Federation, where growth in expenditure on travel abroad increased by 29 % in the first nine months of the year. This figure was achieved after in recent years Russia demonstrated high growth rates, which allowed it to move from 12th place in the list of the largest guides of the tourist market in 2000 to 5th place in 2012 (us $ 43 billion. USA).
In China, which became last year the first among the guides of tourists markets in the world (102 billion. USA), also remained rapid growth. The rate of growth of expenditure on outbound tourism through September 2013, amounted to 22%.
Among other BRIC countries are also strong results in expenditure on outbound tourism have been recorded in Brazil (+15%). Indicators of source markets of developed countries was comparatively weaker: Canada (+3%), United States of America (+2%), United Kingdom (+2%) and France (+2%) demonstrated moderate growth rates, while Germany reported zero growth and Japan, Australia and Italy there was a decrease in expenses.
Note: UNWTO will announce all results 2013 at its traditional press conference which will be held on 20 January 2014, on the eve of the Spanish International tourism fair FITUR.