I.The year of 2016 received 1.2 billion international tourists, a record high
The number of international tourists exceeded 1.2 billion in 2016. Despite the global economic downturn, the tourism industry including cross-border tourism has shown strong momentum for growth.
II.Chinese President Xi Jinping supports the Toilet Revolution, drawing global attention and praise
On his inspection tour to Yanbian, Jilin province, Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed to “launch the Toilet Revolution in rural China”. China’s Toilet Revolution has made the headlines of overseas press in the UK, the USA, France and India. Financial Times in the UK wrote in April that, “With the support of the Chinese leadership, a movement to build tens of thousands of public toilets in tourist attractions has opened the golden age for toilet construction in China.”
III.China initiates and co-hosts the 1st World Conference on Tourism for Development with UNWTO
The 1st World Conference on Tourism for Development, co-hosted by the Chinese government and the UNWTO, was a high-level tourism gala in response to the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang attended and addressed the opening ceremony and Vice Premier Wang Yang attended and addressed the G20 Tourism Ministers’ Meeting.
IV.The World Tourism Day of 2016 focuses on tourism accessibility
On September 27, nearly 500 representatives from 60 countries gathered in Bangkok, Thailand to celebrate the World Tourism Day themed on “Tourism for All – Promoting Tourism Accessibility”. UNWTO Secretary General Taleb Rifai sent the congratulatory message. On the same day, the Declaration of Bangkok, a guideline on promoting tourism accessibility, was adopted.
V.Olympic Games lures nearly 600,000 tourists to Rio, more than expected
During the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, a total of 572,961 foreign tourists visited Brazil, far more than it was expected before the Games. Another survey report by the Brazilian Tourism Institute found that 84% of the inbound tourists, most of whom were from the United States, had business to do with the Olympic Games, and they spent 424.62 reais (about USD 131.32) per day on average.
VI.The United States and Cuba restore diplomatic relations with groundbreaking tourism exchange
On May 3, a cruise carrying 700-plus tourists set off from Miami to Havana, the capital city of Cuba, the first commercial cruise from the United States to Cuba in 38 years. In March, the U.S. government loosened restrictions on visits to Cuba and President Obama announced the opening of airlines and cruise lines between the two countries.
VII. China climbs up to the world’s second place in terms of tourism revenue, keeps its status as the world’s biggest outbound tourism consumer
According to the data released by the UNWTO on May 9: in 2015, China overtook Spain and became the world’s second biggest tourism earner with the revenue of USD 114 billion. Chinese tourists spent USD 292 billion, up by 25%; China received a total of 128 million visitors, up by 10%. Since 2012, China has ranked the world’s biggest outbound travel consumer for years, contributing more than 13% of the global tourism revenue per year.
According to David Scowsill, President & CEO of the World Travel & Tourism Council: (China’s) outbound tourism has been growing robustly, ranks the world’s second place in terms of size, and in the next decade, will grow by 7% per year, above the global average growth rate of 4%, and overtake that in the United States by 2024.
VIII.The tourism industry in the shadow of tourist attacks
Millions of tourists have given up the plan to visit the pyramids in Egypt, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the coastline in Tunisia or the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul which are the high-profile targets of terrorist attacks.
IX.As the pound goes down after Brexit, tourists flock to the UK
The Brexit has produced “immediate, positive impacts” on the British tourism industry. Within 28 days after the referendum on Britain’s exit from the European Union, the number of flight tickets to the country increased by 4.3% from the same period last year.
X. Cross-border self-guided tours challenged by the refugee wave to Europe
According to a statistical report released by the United Nations High Commissioners for Refugees, in the first nine months of 2016, more than 300,000 refugees and immigrants from the Middle East and North African regions including Syria and Libya had crossed the Mediterranean to reach the European cost. Sweden and Denmark had tightened border control and the free personnel flow under the EU’s Schengen Agreement will be challenged