International Tourist Arrivals 2010
• After an exceptionally challenging 2009, international tourism demand is steadily regaining momentum. Preliminary figures compiled by UNWTO for the first months of 2010 indicate an intensifying of the upward trend experienced since the last quarter of 2009, when international tourist arrivals increased by 2% after 14 months of negative results.
• Of the 77 countries that have so far reported international arrivals data for one or more months of the first quarter of 2010, 17 are still negative, while 60 show positive figures, of which 24 double-digit. Based on this crosscut of destinations, arrivals growth worldwide in the months of January-February is estimated at 7%. Some 29 countries already reported March data, all of them positive, clearly pointing to a continuation of the current pace of growth.
• January and February are important months for leisure tourism in the summer of the Southern hemisphere and in the Northern Hemisphere for winter sports tourism destinations. On average the two months represent around 13% of the yearly total. In 2010, international tourist arrivals in January and February totalled over 119 million. Of course this year’s results compare to very poor first months of 2009 –the worst part of the crisis– when international arrivals declined at a rate of -9% and with only 112 million arrivals the number fell below the level of 2007. Compared to the record year 2008, with 123 million arrivals in January and February, the current volume is still 2% short.
• Growth has been positive in all world regions, led by Asia and the Pacific (+10%). The three countries of the Middle East that have reported results so far also point to strong growth, though, compared to very subdued first months of 2009. By subregion, South Asia (+15%), South-East Asia (+10%), North-East Asia (+10%) and North Africa (+8%) did better than the world average, while growth is still weaker in Europe and Americas (both at +3%).
• Quite a few countries posted double-digit growth in the first months of 2010, i.e. Estonia (+14%), Israel (+37%), Hong Kong (China) (+14%), Macao (China) (+16%), Japan (+29%), Taiwan (pr. of China) (+28%), Indonesia (+14%), Singapore (+21%), Vietnam (+36%), Guam (+10%), India (+13%), Nepal (+30%), Sri Lanka (+50%), US Virgin Islands (+15%), Nicaragua (+16%), Ecuador (+14%), Kenya (+18%), Seychelles (+16%), Morocco (+14%), Egypt (+29%) and Saudi Arabia (+45%).