Int’l tourist arrivals up 5% in Jan-Sept
Catherine Talavera (The Philippine Star) - December 7, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — International tourist arrivals grew five percent year-on-year from January to September this year on the back of continued demand for traveling, the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) reported.

The UNWTO said it estimates that destinations worldwide received 1.083 billion international arrivals through September, an additional 56 million compared to the same period of 2017, despite slower growth between July and September.

“This reflects continued strong demand in a favorable overall economic context,” the UNWTO said.

All world regions posted growth, with the Asia Pacific region leading with a seven percent rise.

This was followed by Europe and the Middle East with a six percent increase each, Africa with five percent and the Americas with a three percent increase.

The UNWTO said the continued growth in all world regions was fueled by solid demand from major source markets.

It added that the overall fivepercent rise from January to September is in line with its growth forecast of four to five percent for the year.

“The first nine months of the year usually account for about three quarters of total annual international arrivals, as they include the Northern Hemisphere high season months of July and August,” It added.

Meanwhile, the UNWTO also reported that international tourism receipts similarly increased in the nine-month period in most destinations.

“With few exceptions, preliminary data on international tourism receipts confirm the positive trend seen in arrivals, with particularly strong results in Asian and European destinations,” the UNWTO said..

Countries in Asia were among the top earners in the nine-month period with China recording a 21 percent increase in tourism earnings, and Macao (China) and Japan also leading results with 20 percent and 19 percent growth, respectively.

Similarly, the United Kingdom was also a top earner during the period, growing by 12 percent despite a decline in arrivals.

This was followed by Australia with an 11 percent rise, France with 8 percent and Italy with 6 percent, driven by arrivals growth.

Moreover, the UNWTO also said that preliminary data on tourism spending in the period reflect increasing demand from major source markets.

The Russian Federation reported the largest increase in spending at 15 percent and continues to recover strongly after some years of decline.

“The United Kingdom reported 10 percent growth despite a weak pound against the euro and US dollar, and tourism spending from France picked up 10 percent after some years of rather flat growth,” the UNWTO reported.

The United States recorded a 7 percent increase in line with the performance of recent years, while top source market China showed a minor decrease in spending in the first six months of 2018 as a result of the weaker renminbi (yuan).

In 2017, internationa tourist arrivals reached a total of 1.323 billion, some 84 million more than the previoius year, setting a new record.

This translated to a five percent rise in touris receipts to $1.6 trillion.

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