New Rankings Of The World's Fastest-Growing Tourism Destinations

The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) releases an annual report on global travel and tourism, and the 2018 edition has just come out. The report looks at tourism trends around the world and, among other measures, tracks increases and decreases in tourism activity across countries and regions. Here is what this year’s report found.

In total, international tourism arrivals grew to just over 1.3 billion in 2017, a 6.8% from 2016. That was the largest single-year percentage increase in this specific figure since 2009.

The two regions with the largest growth were in Africa, with 9%, and Europe, with 8%. What’s stunning about those numbers, though, is that Europe received over half the world’s international tourism arrivals, 671 million, while Africa received less than a tenth of that amount, just 63 million.

European travelers accounted for 48% of outbound tourism followed by those from Asia-Pacific, with 25% of the total, the Americas at 17%, the Middle East with 3%, Africa with 3%, and 4% not reporting their origin.

International tourism spending was also up 5% globally and hit $1.34 billion. Nearly 40% of that figure came from spending in Europe, followed by Asia-Pacific with 29% and the Americas with 24%.

Here were the destinations that saw the most growth in terms of year-over-year percentage increase of visitors:

1. Egypt: 55.1%

2. Togo: 46.7%

3. Vietnam: 29.1%

4. Georgia: 27.9%

5. Palestine: 25.7%

6. Niue: 25.4%

7. Nepal: 24.8%

8. Israel: 24.6%

9. Northern Mariana Islands: 24.3%

10. Iceland and Turkey (tie): 24.1%

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