On 4 February, the United Nations World Tourism Organization published their top 20 statistics on the fastest growing tourism destinations in the world. Armenia and Azerbaijan were ranked amongst the top 20 countries, which recorded the growth of their tourism sector in 2019.
Armenia was ranked 12th, showing a 14.4% tourism industry growth in 2019, while Azerbaijan was ranked 17th with a 11.4% tourism growth. Georgia was not amongst the top 20 list. Only Iran was ranked higher from the neighbouring countries, positioning at the third place with a 27.9% rise in the tourism sector. Turkey also made it in the top 20 (14th place) with a 14% growth. Uzbekistan (4th) and Kazakhstan (20th) also made the list. Top of the pack was Myanmar, which saw a 40.2% increase in visitors, followed by Puerto Rico (31.2%).
According to UNWTO, France remained the most-visited country with more than 90 million visitors, followed by Spain’s 83.8 million in 2019. 1.5 billion international tourist arrivals were recorded in 2019, globally. A 4% increase on the previous year which is also forecast for 2020. Presenting the results, UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili stressed that “in these times of uncertainty and volatility, tourism remains a reliable economic sector”. Against the backdrop of recently downgraded global economic perspectives, international trade tensions, social unrest and geopolitical uncertainty, “our sector keeps outpacing the world economy and calling upon us to not only grow but to grow better”, he added.
The UNWTO is the UN specialized agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism. It is the leading international organization in the field of tourism, which promotes tourism as a driver of economic growth, inclusive development and environmental sustainability and offers leadership and support to the sector in advancing knowledge and tourism policies worldwide. It serves as a global forum for tourism policy issues and a practical source of tourism knowledge.
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