New Rankings Of The World's Fastest-Growing Tourism Destinations
Eric Rosen <https://www.forbes.com/sites/ericrosen/>
Eric Rosen <https://www.forbes.com/sites/ericrosen/> Contributor i
The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) releases an annual report on global travel and
tourism, and the 2018 edition <https://www.e-unwto.org/doi/pdf/10.18111/9789284419876> has just come
out. The report looks at tourism trends around the world and, among other measures, tracks increases
and decreases in tourism activity across countries and regions. Here is what this year's report found.
In total, international tourism arrivals grew to just over 1.3 billion in 2017, a 6.8% from 2016.
That was the largest single-year percentage increase in this specific figure since 2009.
The overall global tourism numbers for 2017.UNWTO
The two regions with the largest growth were Africa, with 9%, and Europe, with 8%. What's stunning
about those numbers, though, is that Europe received over half the world's international tourism
arrivals, 671 million, while Africa received less than a tenth of that amount, just 63 million.
European travelers accounted for 48% of outbound tourism followed by those from Asia-Pacific, with
25% of the total, the Americas at 17%, the Middle East with 3%, Africa with 3%, and 4% not reporting
International tourism spending was also up 5% globally and hit $1.34 billion. Nearly 40% of that
figure came from spending in Europe, followed by Asia-Pacific with 29% and the Americas with 24%.
Growth numbers by region.UNWTO
Who is spending all that money? The report found that Chinese outbound travelers spent nearly a
fifth of it – $258 billion – while U.S. travelers came in second, with $135 billion. The report also
noted that seven destinations ranked in the top 10 both in terms of arrival numbers and receipts
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The main mode of transport for all these arrivals was by air, at 57%, followed by road at 37%, water
at 4% and rail with just 2%. Leisure accounted for 55% of visits while business came in at just 13%.
The other visits were either not specified, or for a variety of reasons like visiting relatives,
health needs, or religious observance.
Here were the destinations that saw the most growth in terms of year-over-year percentage increase
1. Egypt: 55.1%
2. Togo: 46.7%
3. Vietnam: 29.1%
4. Georgia: 27.9%
5. Palestine: 25.7%
6. Niue: 25.4%
7. Nepal: 24.8%
8. Israel: 24.6%
9. Northern Mariana Islands: 24.3%
10. Iceland and Turkey (tie): 24.1%
Egypt saw the greatest percentage increase year over year from 2016-2017.
Then, for contrast, here were the top 10 destinations in terms of overall visitor numbers for 2017:
1. France: 86.9 million
2. Spain: 81.8 million
3. United States: 75.9 million
4. China: 60.7 million
5. Italy: 58.3 million
6. Mexico: 39.3 million
7. United Kingdom: 37.7 million
8. Turkey: 37.6 million
9. Germany: 37.5 million
10. Thailand: 35.4 million
France topped the list in terms of overall visitor numbers.
Finally, here is the list of countries with the top spenders on outbound tourism:
1. China: $257.7 billion
2. United States: $135 billion
3. Germany: $89.1 billion
4. United Kingdom: $71.4 billion
5. France: $41.4 billion
6. Australia: $34.2 billion
7. Canada: $31.8 billion
8. Russian Federation: $31.1 billion
9. Republic of Korea: $30.6 billion
10. Italy: $27.7 billion
One final takeaway: four out of five tourists traveled within their own region. So as regions like
Asia and Africa further develop their tourism sectors and infrastructures, we should see their
numbers balloon in the coming years, both in terms of visits and spending.
People ask me how much time I spend on the road each year, and I reply that I am away from home over
half the time. The next question they invariably ask is: Does it get boring? My answer: Never. I
have been writing about luxury travel and news in the hotel and aviation indu...
Eric Rosen is a travel and food writer from Los Angeles, California. Keep up with his latest travels
on Instagram @EricRosenLA <http://instagram.com/ericrosenla>.
Sent from my Linux system.