Exports generated by international tourism reached USD 1.7 trillion in 2018, a 4% increase in real terms over the previous year, a new report from the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) shows. For the seventh year in a row, tourism exports grew faster than merchandise exports (+3%), reflecting solid demand for international travel in a generally robust economic environment.
Despite global slowdown concerns and political tension between leading economies, travel sentiment towards Europe proves upbeat for the summer period in both China and Brazil. According to the latest results of the Long-Haul Travel Barometer, the travel sentiment index in both markets improved by four points over the same period last year.
While a number of aspects of the U.S. economy could affect people's propensity to travel, economists largely believe the outlook will remain strong for the foreseeable future. And at the moment, travel agencies are benefiting from a period of strong bookings for the next several years, signaling continued strength.
Overall travel to and within the U.S. grew 3.0% in April, including an expected 5.6% recovery surge in year-over-year international travel due to the timing of the Easter holiday.