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International Tourism Exceeds Expectations In 2013

For 2014, UNWTO forecasts four percent to 4.5 percent growth – again, above the long term projections

International_arrivalsInternational tourist arrivals grew by five percent in 2013, reaching a record 1,087 million arrivals, according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer.

Despite global economic challenges, international tourism results were well above expectations, with an additional 52 million international tourists traveling the world in 2013.

“2013 was an excellent year for international tourism… Indeed, tourism has been among the few sectors generating positive news for many economies,” said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai.

Tourism outlook for 2014

UNWTO forecasts international arrivals to increase by four percent to 4.5 percent in 2014, again above its long-term forecast of +3.8 percent per year between 2010 and 2020. The UNWTO Confidence Index, based on the feedback from over 300 experts worldwide, confirms this outlook with prospects for 2014 higher than in previous years.

Europe welcomes most of the new arrivals

europe_flagsEurope led growth in absolute terms, welcoming an additional 29 million international tourist arrivals in 2013, raising the total to 563 million. Growth (+5 percent) exceeded the forecast for 2013 and is double the region’s average for the period 2005-2012 (+2.5 percent a year).

Demand for international tourism was strong for destinations in Asia and the Pacific (+6 percent) and Africa (+6 percent). The leading sub-regions were South-East Asia (+10 percent), Central and Eastern Europe (+7 percent), Southern and Mediterranean Europe (+6 percent) and North Africa (+6 percent).

Russia and China – leading in growth in 2013

Among the 10 most important source markets in the world, Russia and China clearly stand out. China, which became the largest outbound market in 2012 with an expenditure of US$ 102 billion, saw an increase in expenditure of 28 percent in the first three quarters of 2013. The Russian Federation, the fifth largest outbound market, reported 26percent growth through September.

The performance of key advanced economy source markets was comparatively more modest. France (+6 percent) recovered from a weak 2012 and the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia all grew at 3 percent. In contrast, Germany, Japan and Italy reported declines in outbound expenditure.

Other emerging markets with substantial growth in outbound expenditure were Turkey (+24 percent), Qatar (+18 percent), Philippines (+18 percent), Kuwait (+15 percent), Indonesia (+15 percent), Ukraine (+15 percent) and Brazil (+14percent).

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