Tourists return to Europe but give the US a miss

 Friday, January 19, 2018 

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Tourists return to EuropeTourists returned to Europe last year after concerns about terrorism kept them away the previous year. However, the United States became less popular during the same period, possibly as a repercussion of President Donald Trump’s behavior.

 
As per the UNWTO data, international tourist arrivals worldwide grew by 7 percent in 2017, amounting to 1.32 billion. These included 671 million international visits to Europe, marking an increase of more than 8 percent on a comparatively weak 2016.

 
Africa strengthened its 2016 rebound with an 8 percent increase, while Asia and the Pacific recorded growth of 6 percent. The Middle East and the Americas saw a growth of 5 and 3 percent, respectively.

 
According to the China National Tourism Administration, 69.5 million international tourists came to China in the first half of 2017, marking an increase of around 2.4 percent. A similar increase is expected in the second half of the year.

 
Europe’s growth was driven by an increase of 13 percent in Southern and Mediterranean Europe, followed by Western Europe at 7 percent. Northern Europe and Central and Eastern Europe both saw a growth of 5 percent.

 
While the U.S. had 207 million international tourist arrivals in 2017, the country is expected to see a drop in international visitors this year.

 
Europe’s strong growth from emerging markets in Asia and elsewhere is mostly due to effective marketing campaigns by European countries, and EU-wide initiatives aimed at attracting new visitors.

 
The stronger dollar also makes the U.S. less affordable for many international tourists who are attracted by the strong value for money that they can find in European destinations.
The UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said: “International travel continues to grow strongly, consolidating the tourism sector as a key driver in economic development. As the third export sector in the world, tourism is essential for job creation and the prosperity of communities around the world.”

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