Africa arrivals grow 5% as int’l tourism receipts record 4% increase for 2012

Posted: May 18, 2013 in travel & tourism

unwtoAccording to the latest United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) World Tourism Barometer, international tourism receipts hit a new record in 2012, reaching an estimated US$ 1075 billion worldwide, up 4 per cent in real terms, from US$ 1042 billion in 2011.

Receipts from international tourism in destinations around the world grew by 4 per cent in 2012 reaching US$ 1075 billion. This growth is equal to the 4% increase in international tourist arrivals which reached 1035 million in 2012. An additional US$ 219 billion was recorded in receipts from international passenger transport, bringing total exports generated by international tourism in 2012 to US$ 1.3 trillion.

According to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, international tourism receipts hit a new record in 2012, reaching an estimated US$ 1075 billion worldwide, up 4 per cent in real terms, from US$ 1042 billion in 2011.

“It is encouraging to see that the growth in international tourist arrivals was equalled by a comparable increase in spending in spite of continued economic challenges” said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai. “Considering that tourism is a key export for many economies around the world, this result is good news as it provides foreign reserves to destinations, and contributes to job creation in tourism as well as in related economic sectors” he added.

By regions, the Americas (+7 per cent) recorded the largest increase in receipts, followed by Asia and the Pacific (+6 per cent), Africa (+5 per cent) and Europe (2 per cent). Receipts in the Middle East were still down (-2 per cent); yet report a steady improvement compared to the decline recorded in 2011.

In absolute values, Europe saw US$ 457 billion in tourism earnings equivalent to 43 per cent of the world’s total tourism receipts, the largest share by region. Destinations in Asia and the Pacific (US$ 323 billion) account for 30 per cent of international tourism receipts and the Americas (US$ 215 billion) for 20 per cent. In the Middle East (4 per cent share) total tourism receipts reached US$ 47 billion and in Africa (3 per cent share) US$ 34 billion.

Except for international tourism receipts (the travel item in the Balance of Payments), tourism also generates export earnings through international passenger transport. The latter amounted to an estimated US$ 219 billion in 2012, bringing total receipts generated by international tourism to US$ 1.3 trillion, or US$ 3.5 billion a day on average.

International tourism (travel and passenger transport) accounts for 30 per cent of the world’s exports of services and 6 per cent of overall exports of goods and services. As a worldwide export category, tourism ranks fifth after fuels, chemicals, food and automotive products, while ranking first in many developing countries.

The top 10 ranking of destinations by receipts remained virtually unchanged in 2012, with the United States, Spain, France, China and Italy leading, followed by Macau (China), Germany, United Kingdom, Hong Kong (China) and Australia.

A number of the more mature destinations among the world’s top 10 earners showed remarkable results: the United States (+11 per cent), France (+7 per cent), Germany (+6 per cent), the United Kingdom (+5 per cent) and Hong Kong (China) (+14 per cent). Other advanced economy destinations with growth rates of 10 per cent or above include Sweden (+17 per cent), Japan (+33 per cent), the Republic of Korea (+14 per cent) and Finland (+16 per cent).

Among the emerging economy destinations highest receipts growth was reported by Thailand (+25 per cent), India (+22 per cent), Poland (+13 per cent), South Africa (+18 per cent), Egypt (+14 per cent), Vietnam (+18 per cent) and Ukraine (+13 per cent).


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