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UNWTO: International Tourism Up in H1

International tourist arrivals grew four percent from January to June (H1) of this year, compared to the same period in 2018, according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer published ahead of the 23rd World Tourism Organization General Assembly.

Growth was led by the Middle East (increase of eight percent) and Asia and the Pacific (increase of six percent). International arrivals in Europe grew four percent, while Africa (increase three percent) and the Americas (increase two percent) enjoyed more moderate growth.

Destinations worldwide received 671 million international tourist arrivals between January and June, almost 30 million more than in the same period of 2018 and a continuation of the growth recorded last year.

Growth in arrivals is returning to its historic trend and is in line with UNWTO’s forecast of three percent to four percent growth in international tourist arrivals for this year-full year, as reported in the January Barometer.

So far, the drivers of these results have been a strong economy, affordable air travel, increased air connectivity and enhanced visa facilitation.

However, weaker economic indicators, prolonged uncertainty about Brexit, trade and technological tensions and rising geopolitical challenges, have started to take a toll on business and consumer confidence, as reflected in a more cautious UNWTO Confidence Index.