International tourists near 1 billion in first three quarters of 2016

Travel sector “resilient” despite security threats


By Allie Sanchez

Data from the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) revealed that international tourism remained robust in the first three quarters of 2016, as international tourists numbered almost 1 billion.

The 956 million tourists registered from January to September 2016 reflected a 4% increase over the same period last year, UNWTO said.

“Tourism is one of the most resilient and fastest-growing economic sectors, but it is also very sensitive to risks, both actual and perceived. As such, the sector must continue to work together with governments and stakeholders to minimize risks, respond effectively and build confidence among travelers,” observed UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai.

“No destination is immune to risks. We need to increase cooperation in addressing these global threats, namely those related to safety and security. And we need to make tourism an integral part of emergency planning and response,” Rifai added.

Further, he explained, “Real crises are often magnified or distorted by misperception and affected destinations are facing important challenges, although at the global level demand remains strong. We need to support these countries in restoring confidence, as doing so will benefit the entire tourism sector and society as a whole.”

Asia and the Pacific posted the strongest growth with arrivals up by 9%.  European international arrivals rose 2%, while the Americas saw a 4% spike.

China was the top source market, with traffic from the country jumping 19%. The UK followed with a 10% increase, followed by the US with a 9% growth in travel spending, and Germany with 5%.

Related Stories:
China is growing as a business travel market: survey
Hotel occupancy inches up to 70% in last week of September

Keep up with the latest news and events

Join our mailing list, it’s free!