2016 saw a 3.9% growth in global tourists

Published on : Monday, January 30, 2017

Hands touching a globeAlthough plagued by challenges, international tourism remained robust in 2016, according to the UNWTO. The UNWTO said that international tourist arrivals grew by 3.9%, reaching a total of 1.2 billion. Last year, some 46 million more tourists, with overnight visitors traveled globally compared to 2015. Following the 2009 global financial crisis, 2016 was the seventh consecutive year of sustained growth. As a result, 300 million more international tourists travelled the world in 2016.

To quote the UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai, “Tourism has shown extraordinary strength and resilience in recent years, despite many challenges, particularly those related to safety and security. Yet, international travel continues to grow strongly and contribute to job creation and the wellbeing of communities around the world.”

The Asia-Pacific region registered a strong growth in 2016. After two weak years, Africa recorded an 8% growth. The Americas recorded a 4% growth. Europe had 2% growth with mixed results in some locations. Demand in the Middle East was uneven. Based on current trends, the UNWTO says that international tourist arrivals worldwide would grow at a rate of 3 to 4% in 2017.

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