UNWTO World Tourism Barometer and Statistical Annex, January 2019
2018: International tourist arrivals worldwide reach 1.4 billion two years ahead of forecasts
- International tourist arrivals (overnight visitors) worldwide increased 6% in 2018 to 1.4 billion, based on data reported by destinations around the world.
- Given the remarkable growth of international arrivals in recent years, the 1.4 billion mark has been reached two years ahead of UNWTO’s long term forecast issued in 2010.
- 2018 consolidates the very strong results of 2017 (+7%) and is the second strongest year since 2010.
- Middle East (+10%) and Africa (+7%) led growth, while arrivals to Asia and the Pacific and Europe (both +6%) increased in line with the world average. The Americas saw growth of 3%.
- Overall results were driven by a favourable economic environment and strong outbound demand from major source markets.
- Among the world’s top ten spenders, the Russian Federation (+16%), France (+10%) and Australia (+9%) reported the strongest increase in outbound expenditure in the first nine to eleven months of 2018. The United States (+7%) and the Republic of Korea (+6%) also recorded solid spending figures, all of them fuelling inbound growth in their respective regions and beyond.
- Based on current trends, economic prospects and the UNWTO Confidence Index, UNWTO forecasts a growth of 3% to 4% in international tourist arrivals worldwide in 2019, more in line with the historical growth trends.