If its not 7%, you are falling behind

By | Category: travel, Travel news
Tower of London

fewer tourists than the average visited the UK in 2017

The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has calculated that international tourism grew by 7% last year.

What that means is that those countries who achieved a rate higher than 7% were doing well in attracting more tourists. Those that attracted less were failing to carry their weight and were slipping behind.

The reason I mention this is because destinations are happy to publicise any growth that they achieve. When that happens, we holidaymakers can be lulled into the belief that the destination is becoming even more popular and, subconsciously, we may add it to the list of place that we would like to visit.

This is the case with the UK. Visit Britain has a large sum of money at its disposal, has very well paid bosses and yet, last year, its rise in tourism was 5.1%. That sounds impressive until you compare it to the 7% average. If it had managed that figure approximately 659,000 more international visitors would have visited the UK, not an insignificant number. Given that the UK was hit by a decline in sterling against both the US dollar and the euro, you might have expected that many more tourists than the average would have visited the UK last year. Shouldn’t that be the case this year as well?

France had the same percentage increase as the UK had

But before you think that Visit Britain did not perform well, look at the country that attracts more international tourists than any other country in the world – France. That only achieved 5.1% as well.  But to grow by 7% would mean it would have to attract another 5.6 million visitors. That it found over four million is no mean achievement!

Overall, five out of the top ten countries fared worse than the average.

Obviously it is harder for countries in the top ten to match the overall percentage increase because, for them, it might finding a million more people or so whereas to a small country increasing on 100,000 international visitors means adding just 7,000.

There are natural disasters which cause numbers to drop so Caribbean countries which faced hurricanes last year do well to show any increase.

Turkey on the other hand had been hit by a steep tourism decline in the few years leading up to 2017 due to internal issues and terrorism. As international tourists felt more comfortable about travelling there, numbers shot up in 2017 to 37.6 million, a rise of almost a quarter over 2016.

It just goes to show that travellers should not take these figures at face value or necessarily be influenced on whether to travel to them or not. They require a little bit of digging to understand what may lay behind them.

 

 

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