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It’s official: Global tourism industry missing out on more arrivals

Regions like Western Europe, the Caribbean and South America, while seeing their arrivals grow year-over-year, are missing out on more arrivals because of a series of events including terrorism, the Zika virus and weak local economies, Skift report in Internet.

The northern hemisphere’s summer travel season has ended and while we don’t have the number of international tourist arrivals for June to August, we do know that Western Europe and the Caribbean in particular had slower visitor growth for the first half of 2016 compared to last year, added.

That’s according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) which tracks tourist arrivals in destinations around the world. While overall international, overnight tourist arrivals are up four percent year-over-year for January to June — 561 million, 21 million more than the same period in 2015 — it’s clear that global headlines about terrorism, Zika virus and stronger and weaker currencies impacted travelers’ decisions to visit certain regions.

Tourist arrivals grew across the Caribbean and Latin America despite a Zika virus epidemic, which began in 2015 in Brazil and other parts of South America, causing tens of thousands of cases in countries throughout the region. Though that growth isn’t as robust as the first half of 2015. The Caribbean, for example, had 6.3 and 2.2 percent growth in the first and second quarters, respectively, compared to 7.6 and 7.2 percent growth during the first and second quarters 2015. The decline is more pronounced in South America where growth was nine percent for the first quarter compared to 17.5 percent a year ago.

North America, including the U.S. and Canada, also saw softening. International arrivals to North America grew 4.9 and 2.7 percent during the first and second quarters compared to 5.1 and 5.9 percent for the same periods last year. Asia-Pacific was one of the only regions to post solid growth and had nine percent more international visitors than the first half of 2015 with much of that growth driven by arrivals in Southeast Asia.

Source: Skift