Americas: Positive results across most destinations

UNWTO estimates arrivals to the Americas increased 4% y/y in 2017

The World Tourism Organisation reports international tourist arrivals to the Americas in 2017 reached 209 million, with the region’s international tourism receipts totalling US$326 bn, an increase of 1%.

North America international arrivals grew by 3%. Mexico (+12%) led results in the subregion, while Canada reported 4% growth, both driven by solid demand from the United States and other major source markets. Tourism expenditure from the United States, the world’s second largest source market, increased by US$13bn compared to 2016 (+9%).

In South America, the growth momentum continued in 2017. Robust outbound travel from Argentina and the rebound of Brazil fuelled growth in neighbouring destinations. Double-digit growth in arrivals was recorded in Chile (+14.3%), Colombia (+21.4%) and Paraguay (+17.5%). Ecuador rebounded from weak results in 2016 due to the earthquake that hit the country’s central coast, with growth of 13.4%. In Peru, international arrivals increased 7.7%, while Guyana received 5.1% more arrivals. Uruguay (+21%) continued to benefit from promotional actions in bordering source markets and tax-free benefits for tourists.

Central America recorded positive results in almost all destinations in terms of arrivals, led by Nicaragua (+18.8%), which is enjoying strong demand from regional markets.
Other Central American countries grew their number of international arrivals, namely Belize (+10.8%), El Salvador (+8.5%) and Guatemala (+4.7%). Honduras recorded 3% more arrivals, a similar increase as in 2016. Results in top destination Costa Rica (+1.2%) were more modest due to a decline in visitors from the United States, while Panama reported 4.1% fewer arrivals.

In the Caribbean, results were rather mixed, with some destinations recording robust growth such as the Dominican Republic (+3.8%) and Jamaica (+7.8%).