Hospitality Today Summer 2017 (#38) - Page 26

26 | Hospitality Today | Summer 2017 The hospitality market: figures & forecasts International tourist arrivals worldwide grew by 6% in January to April 2017 compared to the same period last year, with business confidence reaching its highest levels in a decade. Sustained growth in most major destinations and a steady rebound in others drove results, according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. Destinations worldwide received 369m international tourists (overnight visitors) in the first four months of the year, up 21m (6%). The January-April period usually represents some 28% of the yearly total and covers the winter season of the Northern Hemisphere and the summer season of the Southern Hemisphere, as well as the Chinese New Year and Easter holidays, among others. International arrivals reported by destinations around the world were positive overall, with very few exceptions. Most of 2016’s strong performers maintained momentum, while destinations that struggled in previous years continued to rebound in the first part of 2017. This is especially reflected in the better results of the Middle East (+10%), Africa (+8%) and Europe (+6%). Asia and the Pacific (6%) and the Americas (+4%) continued to enjoy robust growth. “Destinations that were affected by negative events during 2016 are showing clear signs of recovery in a very short period of time, and this is very welcoming news for all, but particularly for those whose livelihoods depend on tourism in these destinations”, said UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai. International arrivals in Europe (+6%) rebounded in January-April after mixed results last year, as confidence returned to some destinations that were impacted by