The growth in international tourist arrivals in 2018 according to the UNWTO continues to be robust at 5.6% yoy, clearly above the 3.6% growth rate in the global economy. In absolute terms, arrivals reached the 1.4 billion mark two years ahead of forecasts. This performance represents a consolidation of the 2017 strong growth and exceeds the 4 to 5 percent growth rate forecasted by UNWTO. Factors that have contributed to this accelerated growth include: stronger economic growth, more affordable air travel through stable oil prices, technological changes, new business models and greater visa facilitation around the world. In fact, except for the Americas (217 million arrivals or +2.9%), sturdy growth rates were reported in the other regions: +10.3% in the Middle East; +7.3% in Africa confirming the 2016 rebound for the second consecutive year; and +6.1% in the Asia-Pacific region.
Europe, a mature destination, continues to grow though at a more moderate rate than last year (+5.7% v/s a colossal +8.6% last year).