Market Intelligence Reports

Publications on Tourism Market Intelligence

Publications on Tourism Market Intelligence

UNWTO publishes a number of market intelligence reports every year, covering trends analysis, products, segments and markets. Information on the contents of these publications is provided below:

Issue 1. How are countries supporting tourism recovery?

The outbreak of COVID-19 has impacted countries at different times, in different ways and in varying degrees. Yet, around the world, response to curb the pandemic has translated into national lockdowns and a wide implementation of travel restrictions and shutdown of borders making tourism one of the hardest-hit sectors. The extensive and deep impact of COVID-19 on tourism coupled with the relevance of the sector to the economy and jobs requires a strong support at national and international level through the relevant institutions. This briefing note offers an overview and analysis of the main measures adopted by countries to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 in tourism and support recovery.

 Download: Issue 1. How are countries supporting tourism recovery?

Issue 2. Tourism in SIDS – the challenge of sustaining livelihoods in times of COVID-19

Tourism is a socio-economic pillar of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and the COVID-19 crisis risks devastating their economies. Tourism accounts for over 30% of total exports in the majority of SIDS, reaching as much as 80% in some. International tourist arrivals declined by 47% in SIDS during January–April 2020 and the road to recovery is set to be long. Such a major shock translates into a massive loss of jobs, a sharp decline in foreign exchange and tax revenues which curbs public spending capacity and ability to deploy the measures necessary to support livelihoods through the crisis. Women, who account for half of the workforce in almost all SIDS, and informal workers are particularly at risk.

Many SIDS have deployed measures to sustain businesses and jobs, often supported by international and regional institutions yet more support is urgent. The external debt of the SIDS accounts for 72.4% of GDP on average and foreign reserves are generally low, with many SIDS possessing only the reserves sufficient for a few months of imports, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs estimates that SIDS economies could shrink by 4.7% in 2020 as compared to 3% for the world economy. SIDS require thus an extraordinary international programme to counter the devastating impact of COVID-19 on tourism, their economies and livelihoods.

 Download: Issue 2. Tourism in SIDS – the challenge of sustaining livelihoods in times of COVID-19

Issue 3. Understanding Domestic Tourism and Seizing its Opportunities

An estimated 9 billion domestic tourist trips (overnight visitors) were recorded around the world in 2018, of which well over 50% in Asia and the Pacific. Worldwide, domestic tourism is over six times bigger than international tourism (1.4 billion international arrivals in 2018) measured in number of tourist trips.

With travellers considering destinations closer to home in the early stages of travel normalization and with still important travel restrictions in place for international travel as a consequence of COVID-19, countries with higher shares of domestic tourism are likely to recover earlier and faster.

 Download: Issue 3. Understanding Domestic Tourism and Seizing its Opportunities

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


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.

 Download the report European Union Tourism Trends

See below the latest issue of UNWTO European Union short-term tourism trends as well as related news releases:

 European Union Short-Term Tourism Trends, 2018-2

 European Union Short-Term Tourism Trends, 2018-1

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.

 UNWTO/GTERC Asia Tourism Trends

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.

 Download The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Outbound Travel Market

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.

 Download Tourism in the BSEC region

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.

 Download Guidelines for Success in the Chinese Outbound Tourism Market