- 2018 cerró con 1.400 millones de llegadas de turistas internacionales (+6%), consolidando los fuertes resultados de 2017 y demostrando ser el segundo año más fuerte desde 2010.
- Oriente Medio (+10%) y África (+7%) superaron el promedio mundial, mientras que Asia y el Pacífico y Europa crecieron un 6%.
- Para 2019, la OMT prevé un aumento del 3-4%, en línea con la tendencia de crecimiento histórico.
Las llegadas de turistas internacionales suben un 6% en 2018
La OMT estima que las llegadas de turistas internacionales en todo el mundo (visitantes que pernoctan) aumentaron un 6% hasta 1.400 millones en 2018, claramente por encima del crecimiento del 3.7% de la economía mundial.
En términos relativos, Oriente Medio (+10%), África (+7%), Asia y el Pacífico y Europa (ambos con +6%) lideraron el crecimiento en 2018. Las llegadas a las Américas estuvieron por debajo del promedio mundial (+3%).
“El crecimiento del turismo en los últimos años confirma que el sector es hoy uno de los motores más poderosos de crecimiento y desarrollo económico a nivel global. Tenemos la responsabilidad de gestionarlo de manera sostenible para traducir esta expansión en beneficios reales para todos los países, y en particular, para todas las comunidades locales, creando oportunidades de empleo y emprendimiento y sin dejar a nadie atrás”, dijo el secretario general de la OMT, Zurab Pololikashvili. “Es por eso que la OMT está centrando el 2019 en la educación, las habilidades y la creación de empleo”, agregó.
El pronóstico a largo plazo de la OMT publicado en 2010 predice un total de 1.400 millones de llegadas de turistas internacionales para 2020. Sin embargo, el crecimiento económico más sólido, los viajes aéreos más asequibles, los cambios tecnológicos, los nuevos modelos de negocios y la mayor facilitación de visados, han acelerado el crecimiento en los últimos años.
Resultados por región
Las llegadas de turistas internacionales a Europa alcanzaron los 713 millones en 2018, un aumento notable del 6% en comparación con un 2017 excepcionalmente fuerte. El crecimiento fue impulsado por la Europa meridional y mediterránea (+7%), Europa central y oriental (+6%) y Europa occidental (+6%). Los resultados en el norte de Europa fueron planos debido a la debilidad de las llegadas al Reino Unido.
Asia y el Pacífico (+6%) registraron 343 millones de llegadas de turistas internacionales en 2018. Las llegadas al sudeste asiático aumentaron un 7%, seguidas por el noreste de Asia (+6%) y el sur de Asia (+5%). Oceanía mostró un crecimiento más moderado en +3%.
Las Américas (+3%) recibieron 217 millones de llegadas internacionales en 2018, con resultados mixtos en todos los destinos. El crecimiento fue liderado por América del Norte (+4%) y seguido por América del Sur (+3%), mientras que América Central y el Caribe (ambos -2%) obtuvieron resultados muy variados, este último reflejando el impacto de los huracanes de septiembre de 2017 Irma y Maria.
Los datos de África apuntan a un aumento del 7% en 2018 (África del Norte en +10% y subsahariana +6%), alcanzando los 67 millones de llegadas.
Oriente Medio (+10%) mostró resultados sólidos el año pasado, consolidando su recuperación de 2017, con llegadas de turistas internacionales que alcanzaron los 64 millones.
En 2019 se espera que el crecimiento vuelva a las tendencias históricas
En base a las tendencias actuales, las perspectivas económicas y el índice de confianza de la OMT, se prevé que las llegadas internacionales crecerán entre un 3% y un 4% el próximo año, más en línea con las tendencias históricas de crecimiento.
Como telón de fondo general, la estabilidad de los precios del combustible tiende a traducirse en viajes aéreos más asequibles, mientras que la conectividad aérea continúa mejorando en muchos destinos, lo que facilita la diversificación de los mercados de origen. Las tendencias también muestran más viajes desde mercados emergentes, especialmente India y Rusia, pero también desde mercados de origen árabe y asiático más pequeños.
Al mismo tiempo, la desaceleración económica mundial, la incertidumbre relacionada con el Brexit, así como las tensiones geopolíticas y comerciales pueden provocar una actitud de “esperar y ver” entre los inversores y los viajeros.
En general, se espera que 2019 vea la consolidación entre los consumidores de tendencias emergentes como la búsqueda de “viajar para cambiar y mostrar”, “la búsqueda de opciones saludables” tales como caminar, de bienestar o el turismo deportivo, “viajes multigeneracionales” como resultado de cambios demográficos y viajes más responsables.
“Se espera que la digitalización, los nuevos modelos de negocios, los viajes más asequibles y los cambios sociales sigan dando forma a nuestro sector, por lo que tanto el destino como las empresas deben adaptarse si quieren seguir siendo competitivos”, agregó Pololikashvili.
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