Travel News: January 23, 2019

Kunming China

International tourism hits 2020 forecast two years early

Last year was a very good year for international tourism, according to a new report from the United Nations World Tourism Organization.

In 2018, there were 1.4 billion international tourist arrivals, a figure the UNWTO didn’t expect global tourism to hit until 2020.

“The growth of tourism in recent years confirms that the sector is today one of the most powerful drivers of economic growth and development,” said UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili, in a statement.

A long-term forecast from the UNWTO in 2010 predicted 1.4 billion international arrivals by 2020. Reaching it two years ahead of forecast is due in part to stronger economic growth, greater visa facilitation and more affordable air travel, the report says.


Millions of Chinese tourists are spurring the growth of mobile pay overseas

In just a few years, mobile payment has become so ingrained in the lives of Chinese people that they are driving stores in overseas tourist destinations to adopt the technology.

Three-fourths of supermarkets and convenience stores in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand now accept Chinese mobile payment, according to a Nielsen survey released Monday. Some 71 percent of duty-free stores and luxury stores in those countries also take the payment method.


Delta, Southwest add flights to Atlanta for Super Bowl
Atlanta Journal Constitution

Delta Air Lines and Southwest Airlines are adding flights to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport for the Super Bowl in Atlanta on Feb. 3.

Atlanta-based Delta is adding more flights on Friday Feb. 1 before the Super Bowl from Los Angeles and Boston, an additional Boston-Atlanta flight on Saturday Feb. 2, as well as return flights on Monday Feb. 4.


Shutdown forces Alaska Air to postpone Paine Field debut
Travel Pulse

The launch of commercial air service at Paine Field in the northern Seattle metroplex will be delayed due to the partial government shutdown.

Alaska Airlines had planned to become the first carrier to begin Paine Field operations with service commencing on Feb. 11. But Alaska decided Tuesday to postpone the launch until March 4.

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By: Matt Long

Matt has a true passion for travel. As someone who has a bad case of the travel bug, Matt travels the world in order to share tips on where to go, what to see and how to experience the best the world has to offer. Also follow Matt on Twitter, Facebook and

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