3% RISE IN INTERNATIONAL ARRIVALS TO AMERICAS

UNWTO World Tourism Barometer statistics on first half 2017

The Americas continued to enjoy positive results across most destinations in the rst half of 2017, with international arrivals up 3%. South America (+6%) and Central America (+5%) led growth, followed by the Caribbean (+4%). Results in North America (+2%) were weighed down by a 4% decrease in arrivals in the United States, the region’s largest destination. Strong US outbound ows continued to fuel growth across the region, thanks to a robust US dollar and economy. An increase in air connectivity also attracted more tourists from overseas markets to the region.

In South America (+6%), Uruguay (+27%), Colombia (+20%), Chile (+17%) and Paraguay (+12%) boasted double-digit growth. Intraregional demand remained strong with outbound tourism from Brazil and Argentina on the rise. Arrivals in Ecuador (+9%) rebounded, while Peru recorded 4% more arrivals. Inbound data for 2017 from major destinations Brazil and Argentina have not yet been reported.

Nicaragua (+26%) and Guatemala (+13%) led results in Central America (+5%). Costa Rica, the subregion’s largest destination, reported a 3% increase in arrivals, while the second largest, Panama, suffered a 10% decline. Belize (+8%), El Salvador (+6%) and Honduras (+3%) recorded positive results as well.

The Caribbean (+4%) saw solid performance in major destination the Dominican Republic (+6%), while Jamaica (+4%) and Puerto Rico (+3%) also posted positive results. Data for Cuba is still pending, but the trend is reportedly also upward. Results in smaller island destinations were more mixed. Growth in Dominica (+15%), Bermuda (+13%), Barbados and Saint Lucia (both +8%) was above the subregional average, while other small Caribbean islands reported weaker growth.

In North America (+2%), Mexico (+12%) and Canada (+6%) continued to enjoy strong demand from the US, as well as from overseas markets. By contrast, the United States itself reported a 4% decline in the first quarter of 2017, with arrivals from Canada up, but declines from Mexico and the majority of overseas markets in Europe, the Middle East and Latin America.

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Photo: Ruins of the Ciudad Perdida Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta Colombia.