Int’l tourism sector resilient, says UN agency | Inquirer Business

Int’l tourism sector resilient, says UN agency

By: - Reporter / @amyremoINQ
/ 12:01 AM July 26, 2016

International tourism has remained resilient, as tourist arrivals grew above average at 5 percent to 348 million in the first four months of the year, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

“Results show a strong desire to travel and this continues to drive tourism growth. Destinations keep benefiting from solid demand across world regions despite ongoing challenges, showing that tourism is a dynamic and resilient economic sector,” UNWTO secretary general Taleb Rifai said.

“Yet, despite these good results, the tragic events of recent months remind us that safety and security remain a major challenge for all. We must continue to work closely together to address this global threat and ensure tourism is an integral part of emergency planning and response at global, regional and national level,” Rifai explained.


A spate of suicide bombings and terrorist attacks have been noted over the past month, developments that continue to pose threats on the safety of the general public, and which were earlier feared to have an impact on the global economy.


But based on the latest four-month data, it was estimated that 2016 may likely be the seventh consecutive year that international tourist arrivals would post above-average growth.

UNWTO earlier estimated that international tourist arrivals will increase by 3.5 percent to 4.5 percent this year, in line with its long-term projection of a 3.8-percent growth a year from 2010 to 2020.

By region, Asia and the Pacific recorded the highest increase in international arrivals at 9 percent, with all Asian subregions enjoying growth of at least 7 percent.

By subregion, Subsaharan Africa led the growth at 13 percent, strongly rebounding from previous years’ modest results.

Prospects thus remained positive, with the UNWTO expecting some 500 million tourists will travel internationally between May and August 2016, accounting for about 41 percent of the year’s total international tourist arrivals.

According to the UNWTO Tourism Confidence Index, prospects for May-August 2016 remain positive and in line with the performance of January-April.


The Index showed confidence was highest in Europe, followed by the Americas.

On the positive side, Brazil is looking forward to the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in August. A downside is that security concerns remain high on the agenda.

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Further, the United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union in the recent referendum (Brexit) has raised uncertainty in the market and led to a substantial depreciation of the UK pound Sterling. The UNWTO, however, does not expect this to have a significant impact on international travel in the short term.

TAGS: Business, economy, News, Tourism, United Nations World Tourism Organization, UNWTO

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