United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) recently updated the long-term outlook and assessment of the development of tourism for the two decades from 2010 to 2030. It is a broad research project building on the on-going work by UNWTO in the ﬁeld of long-term forecasting, initiated in the 1990s. The new study substitutes the earlier Tourism 2020 Vision, which has become a worldwide reference for international tourism forecasts.
Key outputs of Tourism Towards 2030 are quantitative projections of international tourism demand over a 20-year period, with 2010 as the base year and ending in 2030. The updated forecast is enriched with an analysis of the social, political, economic, environmental and technological factors that have shaped tourism in the past, and are expected to influence the sector in the future.
According to Tourism Towards 2030, the number of international tourist arrivals worldwide is expected to increase by an average 3.3% a year over the period 2010 to 2030. Over time, the rate of growth will gradually slow, from 3.8% in 2012 to 2.9% in 2030, but on top of growing base numbers. In absolute numbers, international tourist arrivals will increase by some 43 million a year, compared with an average increase of 28 million a year during the period 1995 to 2010. At the projected pace of growth, international tourist arrivals worldwide are expected to reach 1.4 billion by 2020 and 1.8 billion by the year 2030.
International tourist arrivals in the emerging economy destinations of Asia, Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe, Eastern Mediterranean Europe, the Middle East and Africa will grow at double the pace (+4.4% a year) of that in advanced economy destinations (+2.2% a year). As a result, arrivals in emerging economies are expected to exceed those in advanced economies by 2015. In 2030, 57% of international arrivals will be in emerging economy destinations (versus 30% in 1980) and 43% in advanced economy destinations (versus 70% in 1980).
By region, the strongest growth will be seen in Asia and the Paciﬁc, where arrivals are forecast to increase by 331 million to reach 535 million in 2030 (+4.9% per year). The Middle East and Africa are also expected to more than double their arrivals in this period, from 61 million to 149 million and from 50 million to 134 million respectively. Europe (from 475 million to 744 million) and the Americas (from 150 million to 248 million) will grow comparatively more slowly.
Thanks to their faster growth, the global market shares of Asia and the Paciﬁc (to 30% in 2030, up from 22% in 2010), the Middle East (to 8%, from 6%) and Africa (to 7%, from 5%) will all increase. As a result, Europe (to 41%, from 51%) and the Americas (to 14%, from 16%) will experience a further decline in their share of international tourism, mostly because of the slower growth of comparatively mature destinations in North America, Northern Europe and Western Europe.