2017 witnessed the highest tourism growth in seven years

2017 witnessed the highest tourism growth in seven years


International tourist arrivals grew by a remarkable seven percent in 2017 to reach a total of 1,322 million, according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. This is well above the sustained and consistent trend of four percent or higher growth since 2010 and represents the strongest results in seven years.


2017 was characterized by sustained growth in many destinations and a firm recovery in those that suffered decreases in previous years. Results were partly shaped by the global economic upswing and the robust outbound demand from many traditional and emerging source markets, particularly a rebound in tourism spending from Brazil and the Russian Federation after a few years of declines.


“International travel continues to grow strongly, consolidating the tourism sector as a key driver in economic development. As the third export sector in the world, tourism is essential for job creation and the prosperity of communities around the world,” said UNWTO secretary-general Zurab Pololikashvili. “Yet as we continue to grow we must work closer together to ensure this growth benefits every member of every host community, and is in line with the Sustainable Development Goals”.

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Led by Mediterranean destinations, Europe recorded extraordinary results for such a large and rather mature region, with eight percent more international arrivals than in 2016. Africa consolidated its 2016 rebound with an eight percent increase. Asia and the Pacific recorded six percent growth, the Middle East five percent and the Americas three percent. The Middle East received 58 million international tourist arrivals in 2017 with sustained growth in some destinations and a strong recovery in others.


This strong momentum is expected to continue in 2018 at a rate of four to five percent.

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