N Europe wins world’s biggest tourism growth

International tourism up by 5% in first half of 2014

International tourist arrivals grew by 4.6% in the first half of 2014, according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. Destinations worldwide received some 517 million international tourists between January and June, 22 million more than in the same period of 2013.

Growth was strongest in the Americas (+6%) followed by Europe and also Asia and the Pacific (both +5%). By sub-region, Northern Europe along with South Asia (both +8%) were the best performers, together with North-East Asia and Southern Mediterranean Europe (both +7%).

So far, results are in line with the UNWTO forecast issued at the beginning of 2014. For the full year, international tourist arrivals are expected to increase by 4% to 4.5% worldwide, above UNWTO’s long-term forecast of 3.8% per year for the period 2010 to 2020.

In terms of source markets, data for 2014 shows a consolidation of the rebound in spending in travel abroad registered in 2013 in some advanced economies. Expenditure out of the Italian and Australian markets was up 8% and 7%, respectively, while the US market was up by 5%. Data for France and Canada indicate a 3% increase.

Demand generated by emerging markets also continues to be strong, though decelerating. Chinese outbound expenditure was up 16% in the first half of the year compared to 26% in the whole of 2013, while expenditure out of the Russian Federation was up by 4%, compared to 25% last year.

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[pictured: Statue dedicated to the traveller, Oviedo, Spain]

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