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Published on : Thursday, January 21, 2016
According to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation report, despite terror spreading last year, the number of international tourists hit a record of 1.18 billion. International tourism registered a 4.4 per cent increase in 2015, more than the UN World Tourism Organisation previously predicted, despite economic crisis and extremist attacks.
France, U.S. and Spain were top preferred destinations in 2015.
The UNWTO expects a 4 per cent increase in international tourism arrivals in 2016 as well, while the forecasts for the total number of international tourists hits 1.4 billion by 2020.
Head of the UN body, Taleb Rifai, declared:
“2015 results were influenced by exchange rates, oil prices and natural and man-made crises in many parts of the world.
“We are facing now, with regard to safety and security, a global threat.
“We cannot anymore say this is the problem of Egypt or France or Tunisia or Turkey or Thailand or Indonesia.
“We must continue to travel. We must never allow the pretext of safety and security to curb and reverse our attitude towards making this world more open.”
Destinations like Tunisia, North Africa, Thailand, were severely affected by ISIS attacks and Ebola outbreaks last year.
Europe remains the world’s most visited region, while Asia, the Pacific and the Americas registered a 5 per cent increase in the number of international arrivals.
Travelers from China were both the top tourist source and the biggest spenders, in contrast with Russia and Brazil expenditure which declined significantly last year.