The tourism outlook in 2019

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

According to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, last year 1.4 billion people made overseas journeys make it the biggest year ever for tourism and beating by two years the forecast that UNWTO had made of reaching that figure.

The organisation estimates that tourism rose by 6% in 2018 meaning that destinations who didn’t match that figure were falling behind and those that exceeded it were outperforming other destinations.

Krabi in Thailand. Where will we holiday this year? In the EU, further afield or at home?

Regardless of what tourist destinations say in public, there is rivalry to attract tourists to one destination rather than another. It happens between countries, between cities and towns in the same country and even between towns in the same region.

Europe plays a huge role in tourism as over half of tourists come from this one continent and, consequently, what happens in Europe has an effect elsewhere. Generally Europe hits the average growth number because of its effect on world tourism. Rarely does one country figure prominently although the huge growth in Chinese outbound tourism is something that all countries want to have a slice of that burgeoning market. Nonetheless China is only about a quarter of the size of the European contribution to visitor numbers.

Within Europe, it is rare that one country is singled out but in this year’s forecast for 2019, it is Brexit that gets a mention. The British, EU nations and the world seems unsure of what impact Brexit will have and so it is factored into future forecasts on to the negative side.  The other three “negatives” are listed as a wait-and- see attitude (does that also mean Brexit?) a perceived economic slowdown and the current trade uncertainties. On the plus side UNWTO thinks that with fuel prices being stable, air travel will be more affordable. Better connectivity from airports and increased emerging nations activities complete the pluses.

Even then the forecast for this year is just 4-5% a full percent or two below this last year.

It does look that whatever happens in the UK, the choices you and I make on where or if to holiday is going to have an international effect.

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