Is your holiday destination growing at 6%?

By | Category: Travel rumblings
panoramic view of Dubrovnik

Croatia has been one destination outsripping tourism forecasts over the last few years.

According to the latest UNWTO (United Nations World Tourism Organization) World Tourism Barometer, tourism figures for the first 6 months of 2017 grew by 6% compared to the same period last year.

What that means is that if a country failed to notch up a 6% growth they were losing tourists to other nations. Only if they exceeded 6% were they actually recoding above average growth. A destination achieving 6% was holding its own against its rivals.

The reason I mention this is because countries will trumpet any increase and that might suggest to you that the destination was doing well. A 6% increase is a destination hope; to achieve growth of 6.1% is good news; to achieve 5.9% is failure.

Visit Britain, for example, forecast this week that overseas trips to the UK will increase 6% to 39.7 million with spending up 14% to £25.7bn this year. By UNWTO standards then uhe UK is treading water!

One caveat should be mentioned about the UNWTO figure. Looking at half-year figures can be misleading because, for example, one destination may receive the bulk of its holidaymakers during the northern hemisphere’s summer and they would not appear in the first half year figures of the year. On the other hand, winter sun and ski destinations would do well in the first half –  if they are in the northern hemisphere – and not necessarily repeat it in the second half.

What the figures do rather convincingly reveal is that 2017 will be a bumper year for tourism and much stronger than the UNWTO was forecasting a year ago. It could be the best year for a decade.

So far in 2017, there have been 36 million more international tourists than there were in the first six months of 2016 making the total figure 598 million.

UNWTO also says that most of 2016’s strong performers maintained momentum, while destinations that struggled in previous years continued to rebound in the first part of 2017. This is especially reflected in the better results of the Middle East (+10%), Africa (+8%) and Europe (+8%).

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