Europe does well in international tourism

Tourism demand exceeds expectations in H1 2013

International tourist arrivals grew by 5% during the first half of 2013 compared to the same period of 2012, reaching almost 500 million, according to data just released by the UNWTO. Growth was above the projection made at the beginning of the year and is also exceeding the organisation’s long-term projection of 3.8% a year.

Europe (+5%) performed surprisingly stronger than expected, driven by Central and Eastern Europe (+10%) and Southern and Mediterranean Europe (+6%). Asia and the Pacific (+6%) also exceeded expectations, boosted by South-East Asia (+12%) and South Asia (+7%). On the other hand, results were weaker than anticipated in the Americas (+2%), as South America and the Caribbean lagged behind.

Globally, the first six months normally account for around 45% of the total arrivals count for the year. Growth is expected to continue in the second half of 2013 but at a gradually slower pace. The UNWTO forecasts 2013 to end at 4% or slightly above, thus exceeding the initial estimate for the year.

China (+31%) and Russia (+22%) lead the growth in expenditure on travel abroad in 2013. Outside the top ten, Brazil is back with a 15% increase after a more moderate 2012.

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[pictured: Naxos, Greece]

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