Global Statistics

The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has released its latest Tourism Barometer, summarising the state of international tourism. Key findings include:

  • The global economic upswing has helped to underpin growth in international tourism with 7% more international trips in the first ten months of this year compared to last
  • This means that 1.1 billion international tourism trips were made between January and October, setting a new record – with UNWTO forecasting that data for the final two months of 2017 is unlikely to change this picture
  • Global regions witnessing the fastest growth included Southern and Mediterranean Europe, North Africa and the Middle East
  • Europe arrivals were 8% up on 2016 overall, and latest data on inbound tourism for the UK (through to September) shows a year-on-year increase of 7%
  • Countries generating strong growth in expenditure on outbound tourism so far in 2017 have included many of the big-hitters such as China, USA, UK, Canada, South Korea and Spain
  • Looking at how much destinations are earning in terms of international tourism receipts tells a story of strong growth for 2017 – with Spain, the world’s second highest earner, seeing a 12% annual jump
  • The number of Cruise Line passengers globally in 2016 is estimated at 24.7 million, a quintupling of the number since 1995 and while Americans are still the largest market (11.5 million trips), China is now second with 2.1 million)

Separately IATA is forecasting a strong performance for the airline industry in both 2017 and 2018:

  • Passenger numbers are forecast to reach 4.1 billion in 2017, increasing by a further 6% to 4.3 billion in 2018
  • Net profits of $34.5 billion in 2017 are projected to increase to $38.4 billion in 2018
  • These figures equate to a net profit per departing passenger of $8.45 in 2017 and $8.90 in 2018
  • Globally the average load factor (the proportion of seats that are filled) is forecast to be 81.4% in 2018
  • Profitability forecasts are highly dependent on costs, and at present IATA forecasts that oil will remain at close to $60 per barrel, a 10.7% increase on the average price in 2017
  • European airlines are expected to deliver a net profit of $11.5 billion in 2018, up from $9.8 billion in 2017
  • Passenger demand in Europe is expected to increase by 6.0%, slightly ahead of capacity growth of 5.5%
  • The well-established low-cost airlines of Europe have helped ensure that the region has delivered an average load factor of 84.3% so far in 2017