Tourism remains world’s fastest growing, most resilient sector, says UNWTO | Inquirer Business

Tourism remains world’s fastest growing, most resilient sector, says UNWTO

/ 12:12 AM November 10, 2016

International tourism remained one of the fastest growing economic sectors globally, as tourist arrivals posted a 4-percent increase to 956 million in the first nine months of the year, according to the latest report from the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

“Tourism is one of the most resilient and fastest-growing economic sectors but it is also very sensitive to risks, both actual and perceived. As such, the sector must continue to work together with governments and stakeholders to minimize risks, respond effectively and build confidence among travelers,” UNWTO secretary general Taleb Rifai said in a statement issued by the agency.

“No destination is immune to risks. We need to increase cooperation in addressing these global threats, namely those related to safety and security. And we need to make tourism an integral part of emergency planning and response,” Rifai added.


According to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, demand for international tourism remained robust from January to September this year, though it grew at a more moderate pace. After a strong start of the year, growth was slower in the second quarter of 2016 to pick up again in the third quarter of the year. While most destinations report encouraging results, others continue to struggle with the impact of negative events, either in their country or in their region.


“Real crises are often magnified or distorted by misperception and affected destinations are facing important challenges, although at the global level demand remains strong. We need to support these countries in restoring confidence, as doing so will benefit the entire tourism sector and society as a whole,” Rifai said in the same statement.

According to the UNWTO, the Asia Pacific led growth in international tourist arrivals across world regions, with international tourist arrivals increasing 9 percent in the first nine months.

In Europe, international arrivals grew by 2 percent between January and September 2016, with solid growth in most destinations. Double-digit increases in major destinations such as Spain, Hungary, Portugal and Ireland were offset by feeble results in France, Belgium and Turkey.

In Africa, which posted an 8-percent increase in arrivals, sub-Saharan destinations saw a strong rebound throughout the year, while North Africa picked up in the third quarter.

The UNWTO earlier projected international tourist arrivals to increase by 3.5 percent to 4.5 percent this year, which was in line with its long-term projection of a 3.8-percent growth a year from 2010 to 2020.–Amy R. Remo

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TAGS: Business, sector, Tourism, United Nations World Tourism Organization, UNWTO

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