International tourists to hit 1,8 billion by 2030

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While global international tourist arrivals are expected to grow in the period 2010-2030, it is anticipated this will be at a more moderate pace than in past decades with an average increase of 3,3% a year, which amounts to R1,8 billion by 2030.

This is according to the newly released UNWTO long-term forecast, Tourism Towards 2030, presented at the 19th session of the UNWTO General Assembly.

At the projected pace of growth, arrivals will pass the 1 billion mark by 2012, up from 940 million in 2010. By 2030, five million people will be crossing international borders for leisure, business or other purposes such as visiting friends and family every day.

“The next 20 years will be of continued growth for the sector – a more moderate, responsible and inclusive growth,” said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai. ”This growth offers immense possibilities as these can also be years of leadership, with tourism leading economic growth, social progress and environmental sustainability,” he said.

Emerging economy destinations are expected to lead the pack in terms of growth and it’s expected that emerging economies will receive more international tourist arrivals than advanced economies. Asia and the Pacific is expected to benefit the most in terms of global market share (up from 22% in 2010 to 30% in 2030), along with the Middle East (to 8% from 6%) and Africa (to 7% from 5%).

Traditional destinations are expected to decline in terms of market share, with Europe major drops in Europe (to 41% from 51%) and the Americas (to 14% from 16%), mostly due to the slower growth of North America.

By 2030, North East Asia will be the most visited subregion in the world, representing 16% of total arrivals and taking over from Southern and Mediterranean Europe, with a 15% share in 2030.

A large proportion of the arrivals of the next two decades will originate from the countries of Asia and the Pacific, growing at a rate of 5% a year and generating an average 17 million additional international arrivals every year. Europe follows with an average 16 million extra arrivals a year, resulting from a much more moderate growth rate, but on top of a much larger base. The remaining 10 million additional yearly arrivals are generated by the Americas (5 million), Africa (3 million) and the Middle East (2 million).


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