International tourism breaking records in 2017

Posted on 24 November 2017

Tourism isn’t just booming in hotspots like Brits perennial favourite Spain, where a staggering 76 million visitors headed to catch some rays in 2016 – a figure that is predicted to rise by as much as eight million by the end of 2017. This upward trend is being felt across the globe.

According to the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) World Tourism Barometer, 901 million foreign tourists (overnight stays) packed their bags and headed to destinations around the world between January and August this year. Demand was particularly high in the northern hemisphere during the peak summer months, which helped drive the total number of international tourist arrivals in July and August past the 300 million mark for the first time.

This represented a 7% increase in the number of overnight stays compared to the first eight months in 2016, when 845 million foreign tourists were welcomed by destinations worldwide. And with 2017 still far from over, the UNWTO are confident a record eighth consecutive year of strong international tourism growth will be recorded.

Caribbean islands like Barbados are experiencing a surge in visitor numbers

Let’s take a closer look at the performance of a couple of regions that are close to our heart here at Spot Blue.


Following a less than inspiring 2016 across the continent as a whole, Europe recorded an 8% increase in the number of tourist arrivals between January and August this year. While many destinations experienced double-digit growth rates, this was particularly prevalent in the Mediterranean region (+12%).

United States

Despite international tourist numbers remaining stagnant in the US, international tourist spending increased by 8% during the first eight months of this year.


With its white sand beaches, crystal clear waters and relaxed lifestyle the Caribbean region continues to attract more and more visitors to the shores of its fabulous islands each year – 4% more during the period in question.

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