UNWTO World Tourism Barometer
The UNWTO World Tourism Barometer monitors short-term tourism trends on a regular basis to provide global tourism stakeholders with up-to-date analysis on international tourism.
The report is published four times a year and includes an analysis of the latest data on tourism destinations (inbound tourism) and source markets (outbound tourism). The Barometer also includes a Confidence Index based on the UNWTO Panel of Tourism Experts survey, which provides an evaluation of recent performance and short-term prospects on international tourism.
UNWTO Member States, Associate Members and Affiliate Members receive the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer as a part of member's service.
UNWTO WORLD TOURISM BAROMETER, AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2020
- International tourist arrivals (overnight visitors) declined 65% in the first half of 2020 over the same period last year, with arrivals in June down 93%, according to data reported by destinations.
- Despite the gradual reopening of an increasing number of destinations during the second half of May and the month of June, ahead of the Northern Hemisphere summer season, the expected improvement in June was almost unperceived compared to May.
- The massive fall in international travel demand during the first half of 2020 translates into a loss of 440 million international arrivals and about USD 460 billion in export revenues from international tourism. This represents over five times the loss in receipts recorded in 2009 amid the global economic and financial crisis.
- The contraction in international demand is also reflected in double-digit declines in international tourism expenditure. Major outbound markets such as the United States and China continue to be at a standstill, though some markets such as France and Germany have shown some improvement in demand for international travel in June.
- By regions, Asia and the Pacific, the first region to suffer the impact of COVID-19, saw a 72% decrease in arrivals in the first half of 2020. The second-hardest hit was Europe with a 66% decline, followed by the Americas (-55%), Africa and the Middle East (both -57%).
- While the recovery of international tourism remains sluggish, demand for domestic tourism is rising in many large markets such as China where air capacity in July rebounded to around 90% the level of 2019. In Russia air capacity has also been underpinned by rising domestic travel.
- Based on the three UNWTO scenarios published in May 2020 pointing to declines of 58% to 78% in international tourist arrivals in 2020, current trends point to a decline in international arrivals closer to 70% for 2020.
- Extended scenarios for 2021-2024 point to a strong rebound in the year 2021 based on the assumption of a reversal in the evolution of the pandemic, significant improvement in traveller confidence and major lifting of travel restrictions by the middle of the year. Nonetheless, the return to 2019 levels in terms of international arrivals would take 2½ to 4 years.
UNWTO WORLD TOURISM BAROMETER, UPDATE JULY 2020
- International tourist arrivals (overnight visitors) saw a decrease of 56% in the first five months of 2020 over the same period of last year, according to data reported so far by destinations worldwide.
- International arrivals declined 98% in the month of May, reflecting travel restrictions in nearly all destinations worldwide, amid measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- This represents 300 million fewer international tourist arrivals in January-May 2020 compared to the same period in 2019, which translates into US$ 320 billion lost international tourism receipts (export revenues), more than three times what was lost in the whole of 2019 under the impact of the global economic crisis
- By regions, Asia and the Pacific, the first region to suffer the impact of the pandemic, saw a 60% decrease in arrivals in January-May 2020. Europe recorded the second strongest decline with 58% fewer arrivals, followed by the Middle East (-51%), the Americas and Africa (both -47%).
- Tourism is showing signs of a gradual and cautious change in trend during the Northern Hemisphere summer peak months, as reflected in the gradual lifting of travel restrictions in several countries around the world, particularly in Europe, the resumption of a number of international flights and the restart of some domestic and intraregional markets.
- However, the UNWTO Confidence Index has dropped to record lows, both for the evaluation of January-April 2020 and prospects for May-August.
- Most UNWTO Panel Experts expect international tourism to recover by the second half of 2021, followed by those who expect a rebound in the first part of next year. Domestic tourism is expected to resume faster.
UNWTO WORLD TOURISM BAROMETER, UPDATE JUNE 2020
- International tourist arrivals (overnight visitors) saw a decrease of 44% in the first four months of 2020 over the same period of last year, according to data reported so far by destinations.
- International arrivals declined 97% in the month of April, reflecting travel restrictions in 100% of all destinations worldwide, amid measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- This represents a loss of 180 million international arrivals compared to the same period of 2019, which translates into US$195 billion in lost international tourism receipts (export revenues).
- By regions, Asia and the Pacific, the first region to suffer the impact of the pandemic, saw a 51% decrease in arrivals in January-April 2020. Europe recorded the second strongest decline with 44% fewer arrivals, followed by the Middle East (-40%), the Americas (-36%) and Africa (-35%).
- Tourism is showing positive signs of a gradual but still cautious change in trend for the upcoming Northern Hemisphere peak summer season. This is reflected in the gradual lifting of travel restrictions in several countries around the world and the resumption of some international flights.
Barometer Issues - May 2020 Volume 18
- The world is facing an unprecedented global health, social and economic emergency with the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Travel and tourism is among the most affected sectors with airplanes on the ground, hotels closed and travel restrictions put in place in virtually all countries around the world.
- In an unprecedented blow to the tourism sector, the COVID-19 pandemic has cut international tourist arrivals in the first quarter of 2020 to a fraction of what they were a year ago.
- Available data points to a double-digit decrease of 22% in Q1 2020, with arrivals in March down by 57%. This translates into a loss of 67 million international arrivals and about USD 80 billion in receipts.
- Prospects for the year have been downgraded several times since the outbreak in view of the high level of uncertainty.
- Current scenarios point to declines of 58% to 78% in international tourist arrivals for the year, depending on the speed of the containment and the duration of travel restrictions and shutdown of borders, although the outlook remains highly uncertain (the scenarios are not forecasts and should not be interpreted as such).
- The scenarios reflect three possible patterns of monthly change in arrivals from April to December 2020 supposing that travel restrictions start to be lifted and national borders opened in early July (Scenario 1: -58%), in early September (Scenario 2: -70%) or in early December (Scenario 3: -78%).
- These scenarios would put 100 to 120 million direct tourism jobs at risk.
- This is by far the worst result in the historical series of international tourism since 1950 and would put an abrupt end to a 10-year period of sustained growth since the 2009 financial crisis.
- Sentiment expressed by the UNWTO Panel of Experts points to a start of the recovery of international demand mostly in 2021. According to Panel Experts from around the world, domestic demand would recover faster than international demand.
- Considerable challenges remain ahead, starting with the unknown duration of the pandemic and travel restrictions, in a context of global economic recession. Countries around the world are implementing a wide range of measures to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak and to stimulate the recovery of the tourism sector.
Barometer Issues - Jan 2020 Volume 18
Growth in international tourist arrivals continues to outpace the economy
- International tourist arrivals (overnight visitors) worldwide grew 4% in 2019 to reach 1.5 billion, based on data reported by destinations around the world.
- 2019 was another year of strong growth, although slower compared to the exceptional rates of 2017 (+6%) and 2018 (+6%). Demand was slower mainly in advanced economies and particularly in Europe.
- Uncertainty surrounding Brexit, geopolitical and trade tensions, and the global economic slowdown, weighed on growth. 2019 was also the year of major shifts in the sector with the collapse of Thomas Cook and of several low-cost airlines in Europe.
- All regions enjoyed an increase in arrivals. The Middle East (+8%) led growth, followed by Asia and the Pacific (+5%). International arrivals in Europe and Africa (both +4%) increased in line with the world average, while the Americas saw growth of 2%.
- As per the main source markets, France reported the strongest increase in international tourism expenditure among the top ten markets, while the United States led growth in absolute terms.
- 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 2020.
World Tourism Barometer Volume 18 January 2020
World Tourism Barometer - Volume 17- Issues 4 - Nov 2019
Solid growth in international arrivals in January-September 2019, though uneven across regions
- International tourist arrivals (overnight visitors) grew 4% in January-September 2019 compared to the same period last year, with mixed performance among world regions.
- The Middle East (+9%) led growth followed by Asia and the Pacific and Africa (both +5%). Europe (+3%) and the Americas (+2%) enjoyed a more moderate increase.
- The global economic slowdown, trade tensions and rising geopolitical challenges, social unrest, prolonged uncertainty about Brexit and lower business confidence have weighed on growth in international tourism.
- The collapse of major travel group Thomas Cook and some small European airlines temporarily affected some key tourism destinations, particularly in Europe and the Americas.
- As per the main source markets, the United States led growth in international tourism expenditure in absolute terms, supported by a strong dollar. France reported the strongest increase among the top ten markets, reflecting for the second consecutive year a surging demand while China, the world’s top source market saw outbound trips increased by 14% in the first half of 2019, though expenditure fell 4% compared to the same period last year.
World Tourism Barometer Volume 17 November 2019
UNWTO Tourism Highlights
UNWTO Tourism Highlights presents a concise overview of international tourism in the world based on the results for the year 2019. The booklet includes:
- Key trends in international tourism in 2019
- Results by (sub)region and country of destination
- World’s top tourism destinations
- Outbound tourism by region and top spenders
UNWTO Tourism Highlights
EU Tourism Trends
Enhancing the Understanding of European Tourism is a joint project by UNWTO and the Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs of the European Commission (DG GROW). The project aims to improve the socio-economic knowledge of the tourism sector, enhance the understanding of European tourism and contribute towards economic growth, job creation, thus improving the competitiveness of the sector in Europe. The project includes four components:
1. Increased cooperation and capacity building in tourism statistics
2. Assessment of tourism market trends
3. Promotion of cultural tourism through the Western Silk Road
4. Promotion of sustainable, responsible, accessible and ethical tourism
The project was co-financed with COSME funds.
See below the latest issue of UNWTO European Union Short-Term Tourism Trends as well as related news releases:
UNWTO/GTERC Asia Tourism Trends
UNWTO/GTERC Asia Tourism Trends 2018 Edition, the fifth annual report in the series, highlights the rapidly growing tourism sector in Asia and the Pacific. In recognition of the European Union-China Tourism Year 2018, the second chapter examines international tourism flows between China, the largest Asian economy, and the 28 countries of the European Union. The present edition also features a chapter on the Greater Bay Area, a landmark initiative to merge eleven cities in the Pearl River Delta, and the impact that its infrastructure will have on tourism in the region.
The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Outbound Travel Market with Special Focus on Europe as a Tourism Destination
The ETC/UNWTO publication on The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Outbound Travel Market with Special Focus on Europe as a Tourism Destination provides a thorough analysis on the current and potential performance of the GCC outbound travel market, comprising six countries. The report also provides in-depth insight into the three main markets, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Kuwait, through interviews with the consumer and travel trade. The report concludes with specific recommendations on how to position and market the destination Europe to GCC tourists.
Tourism in the BSEC region
The Organization of the Black Sea Economics Cooperation (BSEC) is composed of 12 Member States in Europe, encompassing the territory of the Black Sea littoral States, the Balkans and the Caucasus. Eight are located within the UNWTO subregion of Central ans Eastern Europe; Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation and Ukraine, and four are within the sub-region of Southern ans Mediterranean Europe: Albania, Greece, Serbia and Turkey.
The group represents a market of 333 million consumers and a combined GDP of US$ 2.8 trillion (as of 2016), accounting for 14% of Europe's economy and 4% of the world's. Development and income levels vary substantially across the region.
Guidelines for Success in the Chinese Outbound Tourism Market
The Chinese outbound tourism market is already very strong and has huge potential to grow further still. These guidelines from the China Tourism Academy and UNWTO offer valuable insights into the factors motivating Chinese tourists to travel. It also presents a valuable toolkit to guide destination managers and decision makers on the best way to tap into this lucrative and productive market.