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Published on : Wednesday, January 20, 2016
Compared to 2014, the number grew by 4.4 percent, meaning some 50 million more visitors traveled to international destinations around the globe last year.
The 2015 results were influenced by exchange rates, oil prices and natural and man-made crises in many parts of the world, UNWTO secretary-general Taleb Rifai said in a press release.
“The current environment highlights safety and security issues. Tourism development greatly depends upon our collective capacity to promote safe, secure and seamless travel,” he said.
Arrivals in Europe reached 609 million last year, or some 29 million more than in 2014. Meanwhile, the Asia Pacific recorded 277 million international tourist arrivals with Oceania and Southeast Asia leading growth with 7 percent and 5 percent, respectively.
Among the world’s top source markets, China continues to lead global outbound travel followed by the United States and the United Kingdom. With double-digit growth in expenditure every year since 2004, Chinese travelers enjoyed Asian destinations such as Japan and Thailand as well as the US and European countries.
By contrast, expenditure from the previously dynamic source markets of Russia and Brazil declined significantly, reflecting economic constraints in both countries