Global tourism numbers set seven-year record

Posted: September 13, 2017 in general
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SavedPicture-2017222144421.jpgVisitor numbers to Nigeria and rest of the African continent jumped by 7.6 percent as overall international tourist figures grew 6.4 percent in the first half of 2017, the strongest half-year figures in seven years, according to the data released by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) World Tourism Barometer, Thursday.

The number of international tourists surged to about 598 million between January and June, some 36 million more than during the same period last year, the Madrid-based United Nations body said in a statement.

Worldwide, international tourist arrivals (overnight visitors) increased by 6% compared to the same six-month period last year, well above the sustained and consistent trend.

“The first half of 2017 shows healthy growth in an increasingly dynamic and resilient tourism market, including a strong recovery in some of the destinations impacted by security challenges last year,” said UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai.

Mediterranean destinations reported “particularly strong growth” in the first half of 2017, including those such as Egypt, Tunisia and Turkey, which suffered terrorist attacks in recent years, causing a slump in visitors, the organisation said.

Southern and Mediterranean Europe saw a 12 percent rise in international visitors, North Africa posted a 16 percent rise and the Middle East recorded an increase of 8.9 percent.

Results are underpinned by robust growth in many destinations and a continuation of the recovery in those that suffered declines in previous years. Of UNWTO regions, growth was strongest in the Middle East (+9%), Europe (+8%) and Africa (+8%), followed by Asia and the Pacific (+6%) and the Americas (+3%).

In the whole of 2016, the number of international tourist arrivals grew by 3.9 percent from the previous year to 1.23 billion and the UN body expects the figure to grow by three to four percent this year.

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