Where Did Those 900 Millions World Travelers Go?

Do you know how many tourist has made their travel trips this year? Within the first 8 months of 2017, which means from January to August, the whole world welcomed 901 millions international arrivals. It is 7% up from the same period of 2016. UNWTO World Tourism Barometer records that the number has been continuously growing for the last consecutive 8 years.

And where did those more than 900 millions people go?

Whilst most destination recorded similar trend, the pace varied significantly. By continent, the strongest growth on tourist arrival was in Africa with 9%. Europe followed in the second position with 8%. Significantly lower, Asia-Pacific came third with 6%, followed by the Middle East with 5% and the Americas with only 3%.

Looking closer, in Asia-Pacific, South Asia led with 10%. Closely following with 9% was South-East Asia. Oceania came on the third position with 7%. North-East Asia was not as strong as the other neighboring counterparts. Whilst North-East Asia was still getting a positive growth, the pace was significantly smaller, 3%.

Compared to their weak performance in 2016, Europe looked significantly stronger this year. Leading the continent’s growth were Southern and Mediterranean Europe which each recored 12% growth, leaving Western Europe on the second position with 7% growth. Northern Europe recorder lower growth at 6% whilst Central and Eastern Europe came last with 4% each.

Contributing to Africa’s leading per-Continent statistic was North Africa with hefty 15%. Whilst it was still enjoying growth, Sub-Saharan Africa only got 5% increase.

Recording the weakest per-continent growth of the Americas, South America brought the largest contribution of 7% followed by Central America and the Caribbean that recorded significantly lower growth of 4% each. North America came as the weakest with 2%. In this area, rapid growth in Mexico and Canada was affected by decrease in the US which was the largest destination there.

Middle east was showing mixed result. Most area that suffered negative record in 2016 made significant rebound this year. Unfortunately, the other regions that enjoyed positive growth in 2016 were declining.

Where Did Those Tourist Come From?

The largest growth of tourist expenditure came from China with 19%, followed consecutively by South Korea with 12%, the US with 8%, and Canada with 7%. But the significant growth of the top feeders was not so impressive compared to growth in the beyond-top-10 feeders. Russian came with the large growth of 27%. But even Russia’s growth was not the largest as Brazil was taking the top position with 35%.