Published on : Monday, July 28, 2014
International tourism trends remained strong in the first four months of 2014 with arrivals growing five per cent to 317 million, according to the latest World Tourism Barometer of the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
The UNWTO noted that the strong performance of the global tourism industry would be sustained as the current peak tourism season (May-August 2014) was expected to witness around 460 million tourists traveling abroad.
“The encouraging start to 2014 and the positive sentiment in the sector raise high expectations for the current tourism season, benefiting destinations from both advanced and emerging economies,” said UNWTO secretary-general Taleb Rifai.
According to the UNWTO, the growth seen from January to April this year was widely spread with nearly all sub-regions recording increases in international arrivals of four per cent or higher.
The strongest growth was registered in Asia-Pacific and the Americas, both posted a six-per cent growth in tourism arrivals, followed closely by Europe and Africa, which saw a five-percent increase.
By sub-region, Northern Europe, Southern and Mediterranean Europe, North Africa and South Asia were the star performers with an eight-per cent expansion.
With regard to source markets, the UNWTO said international tourism expenditure data for the first four months of 2014 indicated that the growth in demand continued to be strong out of emerging markets, particularly from China, the Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia and India.
The Philippines’ Department of Tourism, for its part, said it expected tourist arrivals to reach 6 million this year and 10 million by 2016.
A previous report by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) showed that the contribution of the travel and tourism sector to the Philippine economy was seen to increase by 3.8 percent to P490.2 billion this year. Last year, travel and tourism contributed P472.3 billion, equivalent to 4.2 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). Investments in the travel and tourism sector are expected to increase by 3.8 per cent in 2014 from the P81.3 billion recorded a year ago.
An increase of 3.9 per cent is expected year-on-year over the next decade to P123.9 billion.