TOURISM’S GROWTH CONTRIBUTES TO THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AGENDA

TOURISM’S GROWTH CONTRIBUTES TO THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AGENDA

Austin Hess 2020-11-12 01:44:22

Destinations worldwide received 1.1 billion international tourist arrivals in the first nine months of 2019, according to the latest World Tourism Barometer from the World Tourism Organization, in line with its forecast of 3-4% growth for this year. The global economic slowdown, rising trade, geopolitical tensions and prolonged uncertainty around Brexit weighed on international tourism, which experienced a more moderate pace of growth during the summer peak season in the Northern Hemisphere.

Tourism is now world’s third largest export category generating USD 1.7 trillion in revenues as of 2018. International tourism remains the third behind fuels and chemicals. Besides, tourism accounts for 29% of the world’s services exports and 7% of overall exports. In some regions these proportions exceed the world average, especially the Middle East and Africa where tourism represents over 50% of services exports and about 9% of exports overall.

The world’s top ten earners saw mixed results in international tourism receipts with Australia (+9%), Japan (+8%) and Italy (+7%) posting the highest growth, while China, the United Kingdom and the United States recorded declines. Mediterranean destinations were among the strongest performers in terms of earnings, both in Europe and the Middle East and North Africa region.

The 2% increase in the Americas reflects a mixed regional picture. While many island destinations in the Caribbean (+8%) consolidate their recovery after the 2017 hurricanes, arrivals in South America were down 3% partly due to a decline in Argentinian outbound travel, which affected neighboring destinations. Both North America and Central America grew 2%. The United States (+6%) led growth in international tourism expenditure in absolute terms, supported by a strong dollar. India and some European markets also performed strongly, though global growth was more uneven than a year earlier.

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