Great news for the Hospitality Industry
The world’s growing love of tourism grew at a record pace in 2013 according to the new UN World Tourism Organization’s (UNWTO) World Tourism Barometer despite economic difficulty in some of the world’s traditional source markets. Southeast Asia was the fastest growing region and Europe led all in absolute terms with an extra 29 million arrivals.
The barometer cited a record 1,087 million arrivals in 2013. The number exceeded expectations by 52 million, for a 5 percent growth overall. “The tourism sector has shown a remarkable capacity to adjust to the changing market conditions, fuelling growth and job creation around the world, despite the lingering economic and geopolitical challenges,” said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai.
For 2014, UNWTO forecasts 4 percent to 4.5 percent growth which would also exceed long term projections. Not surprisingly, demand for international tourism was strongest in the booming Asia and the Pacific (up 6 percent) region. Africa (up 6 percent) and Europe (up 5 percent) also recorded strong growth rates. The leading sub-regions were Southeast Asia (up 10 percent), Central and Eastern Europe (up 7 percent), Southern and Mediterranean Europe (up 6 percent) and North Africa (up 6 percent).
The UNWTO believes the blue skies will continue, forecasting international arrivals to increase by 4 to 4.5 percent in 2014. That beats the long-term forecast of +3.8 percent per year between 2010 and 2020 that the UNWTO previously predicted. The UNWTO Confidence Index, based on the feedback from over 300 experts worldwide, confirms this outlook with prospects for 2014 higher than in previous years.