International tourist arrivals hit 1.4 billion in 2018, two years ahead of forecast: UNWTO

International tourist arrivals (overnight visitors) worldwide increased 6 per cent in 2018 to 1.4 billion, based on data reported by destinations around the world, according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. Given the remarkable growth of international arrivals in recent years, the 1.4 billion mark has been reached two years ahead of UNWTO’s long term forecast issued in 2010. 2018 consolidates the very strong results of 2017 (+7%) and is the second strongest year since 2010. Middle East (+10%) and Africa (+7%) led growth, while arrivals to Asia and the Pacific and Europe (both +6%) increased in line with the world average. The Americas saw growth of 3%. Overall results were driven by a favourable economic environment and strong outbound demand from major source markets. Based on current trends, economic prospects and the UNWTO Confidence Index, UNWTO forecasts a growth of 3% to 4% in international tourist arrivals worldwide in 2019, more in line with the historical growth trends.