Global tourism landscape looks positive

Tourism CS Najib Balala welcoming visitors (PHOTO: File)
MOMBASA, KENYA: The global tourism fortunes in the first quarter of 2019 looks positive going by the latest figures released by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO)

However, at a slower rate when compared with the last two years, the 4 per cent increase registered in early 2019 is a positive sign.

The Middle East (+8 per cent) and Asia and the Pacific (+6 per cent) experienced the highest increase in international arrivals. Numbers in both Europe and Africa were up by 4 per cent, and in the Americas, growth was recorded at 3 per cent.

“International tourism continues to perform strongly worldwide fuelled by a positive economy, increased air capacity and visa facilitation”, said UNWTO Secretary-General, Mr Zurab Pololikashvili.

Europe, the world’s largest tourism region, reported solid growth (+4 per cent), led by destinations in Southern and Mediterranean Europe and Central and Eastern Europe (both +5 per cent).

Growth in Africa was driven by the ongoing recovery in North Africa (+11 per cent). In the Americas, the Caribbean (+17 per cent) rebounded strongly after weak results in 2018, following the impact of hurricanes Irma and Maria in late 2017.

In Asia and the Pacific, results for the first three months showed a 6 per cent increase led by North-East Asia (+9 per cent) and a very solid performance from the Chinese market

“With this growth comes greater responsibility for translating it into better jobs and better lives”, Mr. Pololikashvili stresses.

He added that there is need to continue investing in innovation, digital transformation and education so that the industry can harness the many benefits tourism can bring while at the same time mitigating its impact on the environment and society with better management of tourism flows.”

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World Tourism Organisation