Tourism One Minute Report
A global market scan in one minute or less.
February 6, 2018


Growing by a remarkable 7%, international tourist arrivals reached a total of 1.322 billion in 2017 – the highest in seven years. More than 671 million travellers flocked to Mediterranean destinations with Europe recording an 8% leap in inbound travel compared to 2016. Similarly, Africa saw 8% growth while Asia and the Pacific recorded 6%, and the Middle East and the Americas saw 5% and 3% increases respectively. This momentum is anticipated to continue through 2018 at a rate of 4-5%.1. #tourismreport

Here are the latest tourism reports on outbound travel in some key international markets…


CANADA: 2.35 million Canadians traveled internationally in November 2017, a 6.1% increase compared to the 2.21 million in November 2016. Outbound travel from January to November tallied 30.68 million in 2017, a 5.6% increase from 29.01 million over the same period in 20162.

Canadian unemployment dropped to 5.7% in December 2017, the lowest it has been in over 40 years. Higher than expected, the number of jobs increased by 78,600 bringing the overall 2017 employment gain to 422,500, the highest annual increase the country has seen since 20023.

UNITED STATES: Outbound travel from the United States totaled 6.84 million in September 2017, up 8.3% from 6.28 million in 2016. International travel in the third quarter of 2017 totaled 24.83 million in 2017, up 8.1% from 22.82 million in 2016. Spending by US international travellers has been up between 5% and 11% all year, with the highest increase of 11% occurring in July 20174.

Preliminary results show that consumer confidence fell in the first month of 2018 to 94.4 from 95.9 in December – lower than the forecast of 975.

Unemployment in the United States remained unchanged for the final quarter of 2017 at 4.1%. This rate sits 0.6% lower than the 4.7% unemployment of December 2016 and down 0.9% from 5% December 20156.


UNITED KINGDOM: UK residents made 6.3 million visits abroad in October 2017, down 2% from the same month in 2016. Similarly, spending abroad declined 9% to £3.8 billion year over year in October7.

For the months July through October of 2017, unemployment in the UK held strong at a 42-year low of 4.3% only marginally higher than the market expectation of 4.2%8.

The United Kingdom is bracing for what is expected to be a record-setting year in tourism. Forecasts suggest that the UK will welcome 41.7 million visitors in 2018 with the estimated spending tallying around £26.9bn. Travellers from other European countries made up the largest group of visitors in 2017 with 19.6 million visits in the first three quarters, up 4% from the same period in 2016. 3.8 million North American tourists visited in the same period in 2017 – a 14% leap over 20169.

FRANCE: Unemployment in France increased 0.2% in from 9.5% in the second quarter to 9.7% in the third quarter of 2017. Preliminary 2017 growth estimates for France were bumped up from 1.8% to 1.9% and confidence remains high that it will continue in 2018. Growth has been steady since the end of 2016 at a rate of approximately 0.5% per quarter. Unemployment is expected to stabilize around 9.4% by mid 2018 which would be its lowest level since early 201210.

GERMANY: Economic growth hit a six-year high in 2017 reaching 2.2%. Consumer spending, low borrowing costs, record-high employment and rising wages were the biggest contributors. Forecasting for 2018 is calling for growth of 2.6%11. Unemployment in Germany edged down to 3.6% in November 2017, lower than estimates of 3.7%12.


INDIA: Growth slowed to 5.7% in the second quarter of 2017 but increased slightly to 6.3% in Q3. Despite these provisional setbacks, India, the world’s second most populous country is poised to overtake both the United Kingdom and France to become the fifth largest economy in 2018. Inexpensive energy and digital advancements will be the driving force behind the economic growth globally. It is anticipated this growth will be dominated by Asian countries including India and Japan with estimates suggesting China will overtake the US – currently the world’s largest economy – by 203013.

CHINA: In an effort to continue developing the travel industry and provide quality travel experiences, the EU and China have harmonized their 2018 tourism strategies and declared the official start of 2018 as the EU-China Tourism Year. All 28 countries of the EU are participating in the EU-China Tourism Year in which numerous high-profile and awareness-raising events will be hosted throughout the year to draw tourists and celebrate culture.

126 million Chinese tourists travelled internationally in 2016, an 8% increase over 2015 and estimates suggest this number will grow in 201814. With a surge of 65% in the first half of the year, more than 6 million Chinese travellers visited European countries in 201715. A 10% increase in Chinese travellers to Europe this year would equate 1 billion Euros ($1.2 billion USD)16.

In the lowest reading since 2002, China’s unemployment in urban areas sat at 3.9% at the end of 2017. The job market in China remained stable throughout 2017 and progressed, surpassing expectation. A record-setting 13.51 million new jobs were created in urban areas in 2017 – an increase of 370,000 over 201617.

JAPAN: 4.48 million Japanese embarked on international travel in the fourth quarter of 2017 an increase of 1.7% compared to the fourth quarter of 2016. Overall, outbound travel from Japan tallied 17.89 million in 2017, edging up 4.3% from 17.1 million in 201618.

AUSTRALIA: Australians took 892,000 international trips in November of 2017 – an 8.8% increase over the same month in 2016. In the eleven months to November 2017 overall outbound travel from the country tallied 9.48 millio, a 4.6% increase vs. 9.04 million over the same period in 201619.


We are preparing to receive up to a million tourists during the 2018 FIFA World Cup” said Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko. The tournament, which is hosted every four years will be held in Russia across 11 host cities between June 14th and July 15th this year. It is anticipated the country’s travel inflow will increase by around 17%.
Russia won the bid to host the 2018 World Cup back in December of 2010 with competing bids coming from England, and joint bids from Spain and Portugal as well as Belgium and the Netherlands20.

  1. “2017 International Tourism Results: The Highest in Seven Years”. World Tourism Organization, January 15, 2018 []
  2. “International Travel: Advance Information November 2017”. Statistics Canada, January 19, 2017 []
  3. Argitis, Theophilos. “Canada’s Unemployment Rate Drops to Lowest in Four Decades”. Bloomberg, January 5, 2018 []
  4. “US Citizen Travel to International Regions”, US National Travel & Tourism Office []
  5. “United States Consumer Sentiment”. Trading Economics, January 19, 2018 []
  6. “Labour Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey”. Bureau of Labour Statistics, January 23, 2018 []
  7. “Overseas Travel and Tourism: October 2017”. Office for National Statistics, January 23, 2018 []
  8. “United Kingdom Unemployment Rate”. Trading Economics, December 13, 2017 []
  9. Brignall, Miles. “UK Braced for Record Number of Tourists in 2018”, The Guardian, December 26, 2017 []
  10. “The Unemployment Rate Increased by 0.2 points in Q3 2017”. INSEE, November 16, 2017 []
  11. Nasr, Joseph, Nienaber, Michael. “In Surplus and Growing Fast, German Economy Powers on”, Reuters, January 11, 2018 []
  12. “Germany Unemployment Rate”. Trading Economics, January 3, 2018 []
  13. “India on Track to Become the Fifth-Largest Economy in 2018”. France 24, December 27, 2018 []
  14. Xiaoxun, Lei, Yongqi, Hu. “EU-China Tourism Year Starts in Venice”. China Daily, January 19, 2018 []
  15. “Chinese Tourists to Europe Growing”. China Daily, January 23, 2018 []
  16. Xiaoxun, Lei, Yongqi, Hu. “EU-China Tourism Year Starts in Venice”. China Daily, January 19, 2018 []
  17. “China Reports Lowest Urban Unemployment Rate since 2002”. XinhuaNet, January 26, 2018 []
  18. “2017 Foreign Visitors & Japanese Departures”. Japan National Tourism Organization, January 2018 []
  19. “Overseas Arrivals and Departures in Australia, August 2017. Australian Bureau of Statistics, January 19, 2018 []
  20. “Russia Expects up to One Million Tourists for 2018 FIFA World Cup”. Tass, July 4, 2017 []

Mahon Jones & Associates is a tourism consulting firm, based in Canada, with special focus on cultural tourism and attracting the cultural tourist. The information above has been compiled via desk research of the internet for clients and key contacts, primarily located in Canada. It is intended to provide contacts with a quick snapshot of currently available market information.
For more information about our services or to discuss how we can assist your organization, government agency or business visit our website at or contact us.

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