Destinations worldwide welcomed 598 million international tourists in the first six months of 2017, some 36 million more than in the same period of 2016. International Tourist Arrivals (ITAs) worldwide grew by 6 per cent stating that growth was well above the trend of recent years, making the current January-June period the strongest half-year since 2010.
“The first half of 2017 shows healthy growth in an increasingly dynamic and resilient tourism market, including a strong recovery in some of the destinations impacted by security challenges last year”, said UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai ahead of the 22nd session of the UNWTO General Assembly, to be held in Chengdu, China on 13-16 September 2017.
Visitor numbers reported by destinations around the world reflect strong demand for international travel in the first half of 2017, according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. Worldwide, international tourist arrivals (overnight visitors) increased by 6% compared to the same six-month period last year, well above the sustained and consistent trend of 4% or higher growth since 2010. This represents the strongest half-year in seven years.
The first half of the year usually accounts for about 46% of total annual international arrivals, with the second half longer by three days and including the Northern Hemisphere high season months of July and August.
Growth was strongest in the Middle East (+9%), Europe (+8%) and Africa (+8%), followed by Asia and the Pacific (+6%) and the Americas (+3%).