Skift Take

Leisure travel drives demand during the northern hemisphere's summer months, marking the most profitable time of the year for many destinations who see visitors numbers drop when corporate demand picks up in the fall.

Almost a half of all international tourist arrivals expected for 2014 will happen between May to August, according to data released by UNWTO today.

The global tourism organization estimates more than 460 million tourists will travel abroad during these four months, accounting for 41 percent of total arrivals in one year. Although less than 50 percent, it is substantially higher than the 33 percent mark that would be expected if tourism demand was equally distributed throughout the the year.

Demand is driven by the summer vacations in two of the largest outbound travel markets: the United States and Europe.

Building on a Strong Start

International tourist arrivals worldwide have already grown by 5 percent in the first four months of the year suggesting arrivals for the full year will increase by up to 4.5 percent over 2013.

Every region has experienced growth so far in 2014 with the strongest increases (6%) impacting Asia and the Pacific and the Americas.

Subregions with particularly strong growth include Northern Europe, South and Mediterranean Europe, North Africa and South Asia.

Region Tourism Growth (January – April ’14)
Asia and the Pacific 6%
South Asia 8%
North-East Asia 7%
America 6%
Europe 5%
Northern Europe 8%
Southern Mediterranean Europe 8%
Africa 5%
North Africa 8%
Middle East 4%

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Tags: skiftstats, unwto

Photo credit: Backpackers head to a bus stop in Italy. Keith Parker / Flickr

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