SLTDA
Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority

World Travel and Tourism Trends

Tourism Market Trends Series

Tourism Market Trends is the World Tourism Organization's regular series of reports whose objective is to present international tourism trends in the world as well as in each region, subregion and country. The full series consists of one volume providing an overview of the tourism trends in the world and five regional volumes highlighting the international tourism trends in each of the regions.

International (Global Trends)

In 2008, international tourist arrivals reached 924 million, up 16 million over 2007,representing a growth of 2%. As a result of the extremely volatile world economy (financial crisis, commodity and oil price rises, sharp exchange rate fluctuations),tourism demand slowed significantly through the year. The last six month of 2008, in particular, showed an abrupt shift in trends, with international tourist arrivals flat or showing negative growth. Overall, the 5% growth between January and June gave way to a 1% decline in the second half of the Year. Growth was negative in the last six months of 2008 in both Europe (-3%), where the drop is even more significant given its double-digit growth in 2007 and strong showing in the first part of 2008.On the other hand, the Americas (+1%), Africa (+4%) and the Middle East (+5%) still posted positive results in the second half of the year, although with a significant slowdown compared with the period between January and June.For the year as a whole, all regions were positive except Europe which suffered stagnation in arrivals. The best performances were registered in the Middle East(+11%),Africa (+5%) and Americas (+4%). downward trend will soon be reserved in 2009.For the year as a whole, arrival numbers are forecast to be flat at best and a few per cent down at worst.

World Tourist Arrivals by Regions in million (2005 to 2008)

Region

2005

2006

2007

2008

%Change

          06/05 07/06 08/07

Africa

37.3

40.9

44.2

46.9

9.7

8.1

4.6

America

133.5

135.7

142.1

147.6

1.6

4.7

3.6

East Asia & Pacific

147.4

158.8

175.3

177.1

7.7

10.4

1.4

Europe

441.0

460.8

480.1

488.5

4.5

4.2

0.1

Middle East

39.2

41.0

46.4

52.9

4.6

13.2

11.3

South Asia

8.0

9.0

9.7

11.3

12.5

7.8

4.3

Word

806

846

898

924

5.0

6.1

1.8

Source - World Tourism Organization (Note - Figures for 2008 are provisional estimates)

2008 will go clearly go into the history books as a year of turbulence and contrasts. The growth in international tourist arrivals has slowed drastically worldwide, under the influence of an extremely volatile and unfavorable global economy. After a 5% increase in the first half of 2008, growth in international tourist arrivals moved into negative territory in the second half of 2008(-1%).The final result was an estimated 2% growth for the full year - down from 7% in 2007, which was the fourth year of consecutive strong growth in world tourism. And there are no signs that this downward trend will soon be reserved in 2009.For the year as a whole, arrival numbers are forecast to be flat at best and a few per cent down at worst.

Regional Trends - Regional Distribution of World Tourism Arrivals (2005 to 2008)

Region

Relative Share

 

2005

2006

2007

2008

Africa
Americas
E.Asia & Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia

4.6
16.6
18.3
54.7
4.8
1.0

4.8
16.2
18.8
54.4
4.8
1.0

4.9
15.8
19.5
53.5
5.2
1.1

5.0
16.0
19.2
52.8
5.7
1.2

Total

100

100

100

100

Source - World Tourism Organization (Note - Figures for 2007 are provisional estimates)

It is seen that European region still receives more than one half of world tourism (52.8 per cent), while Europe and Americas taken together, the traditional scenes of international tourism, and receive almost seven-tenths, (68.8 per cent) of world tourism. However, what is important to note is the gradual decline in the shares of world tourism received by the European and East Asia & Pacific and the corresponding increases in the shares of all other regions, during this period. Thus the share of the European regions declined from 54.7 per cent in 2005 to 54.4 per cent in 2006 and 53.5 per cent in 2007 to 52.8 per cent in 2008. All other regions remained either relatively stable in their shares or recorded slight increases over the base year 2005.

Tourism Demand - Volume and Value

Volume

The overall arrivals for the year 2008 as a whole decreased by 11.2 per cent to 438,475 as compared to the figure of 494,008, recoded in the previous year. In terms of tourist nights, which is another yardstick in measuring the volume of tourist traffic, the number recorded in 2008, amounted to 4,165,511 nights. This was a decrease of 15.7 % when compared to 4,940,080 nights recorded in 2007 (See Tables 7 & 12). The average duration of stay decreased from 10.0 nights in 2007, to 9.5 nights in 2008.

Value

In 2008, the earnings from tourism decreased by 12.8 per cent, from Rs. 42,519.3 million to 37,094 million .

Tourism Market – Local Trends ( Sri Lanka )

Tourism Growth Trends - 1967 to 2008