Africa driving global tourism growth by 8% — UNWTO

Posted: December 15, 2017 in general

SavedPicture-2017222144421.jpgDestinations around the world welcomed 1.1 billion international tourists between January and October 2017, according to the latest United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) World Tourism Barometer.

This represents a 7 per cent increase on the same period of last year, or 70 million more international arrivals. Strong demand for international tourism across world regions reflects the global economic upswing.

“Europe and Africa (+8% each) are the fastest-growing regions in international tourism. Africa (+8 per cent) was the second fastest-growing region over this period, thanks to a strong recovery in North Africa (+13 per cent) and the sound results of Sub-Saharan Africa (+5 per cent),” the UNWTO report said.

The strong tourism demand of the earlier months of 2017, including the Northern Hemisphere summer peak season, was maintained through October. Destinations worldwide received a total of 1,127 million (+7 per cent) international tourist arrivals (overnight visitors) in the first ten months of the year, 70 million more than in the same period of 2016. Results were driven by sustained growth in many destinations and a firm recovery in those that experienced declines last year.

In particular, destinations in Southern and Mediterranean Europe, North Africa and the Middle East showed extraordinary strength. Growth in international arrivals exceeded 7 per cent in all destinations of Southern and Mediterranean Europe, with a rapid recovery seen in Turkey and double-digit increases for most of the region’s other destinations.

In North Africa and the Middle East, Egypt, Tunisia and Palestine rebounded strongly from previous years’ declines, while Morocco, Bahrain, Jordan, Lebanon, Oman and the United Arab Emirate of Dubai all continued to report sustained growth. Strong demand for international tourism across world regions reflects the global economic upswing.

“These robust results, the best we have seen in many years, reflect the sustained demand for travel around the world, in line with the improved global economy and the rebound of destinations that suffered declines in previous years,” said UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai at the 2nd UNWTO/UNESCO Conference on Tourism and Culture, held on 11-12 December in Oman.

“As we gather in Oman for this important event, we must acknowledge the strong resilience of tourism reflected in the continuous growth in many destinations of the Middle East, and the rapid recovery in others. Tourism brings benefits to local communities and visitors through the promotion of peace and mutual understanding and, as this event highlights, respect for cultural heritage and values.” Mr. Rifai added.

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