The UNWTO said although at a slower rate when compared with the last two years, the 4% increase registered in early 2019 is a “very positive sign”. The Middle East (+8%) and Asia and the Pacific (+6%) experienced the highest increase in international arrivals. Numbers in both Europe and Africa were up by 4%, and in the Americas growth was recorded at 3%.
UNWTO secretary-general, Zurab Pololikashvili, said: “International tourism continues to perform strongly worldwide fuelled by a positive economy, increased air capacity and visa facilitation. Growth in arrivals is easing slightly after two years of exceptional results, but the sector continues to outpace the global rate of economic growth.”
UNWTO also found that the outlook for the May-August 2019 period, the peak season for many destinations in the Northern hemisphere, is “more optimistic” than in the recent periods and more than half of respondents are expecting a better performance in the coming four months.