International travel grew in 2016 despite various constraints

Published on : Wednesday, January 25, 2017

UNWTO logoIn 2016, countries around the world recorded 1.23 billion international tourist arrivals according to the UNWTO. But every region didn’t see a constant growth. International tourists to Europe, the top destination for foreign visitors, were just 2% at 620 million. Western Europe didn’t grow at all. Due to major terror attacks in Paris and Nice, France saw lesser number of visitors as they stayed away from visiting the country. Contrarily, other European countries like Spain and Austria became attractive for tourists. However, smaller nations like Iceland attracted greater number of visitors with almost 20% rise in overnight stays in hotels and other accommodations. With visitor increase, they now need to build better tourism infrastructure.

Asia too saw increased number of visitors with region-wide growth. It had an additional 24 million tourists last year. It was due to increased interest in both intra-regional travel and tourism from other parts of the globe, according to the UNWTO. In the Americas, international tourist arrivals increased 8% to 201 million, but North America’s growth was about half that rate, due to strong US dollar. Africa and the Middle East also had considerable growth last year.

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