Rise in global tourist arrivals

16 September 2011 11:57

Africa posted the highest growth in terms on tourist arrivals in the world in the six months to the end of June

Africa posted the highest growth in terms on tourist arrivals in the world in the six months to the end of June

African travel destinations saw an impressive growth in tourist arrivals during the first half of the year as visitor numbers worldwide rose by nearly 5%, figures show.

The World Tourism Organisation said the sector overcame "multiple challenges" to continue the recovery that began last year.

A record 440 million people visited countries around the world between January and June this year - with the total tourist arrivals up 19 million from the same period in 2010.

Africa led the way with a 9% overall rise in tourist numbers, while Europe and the Americas, which saw increases of 6% each, also remained popular destinations for people taking out travel insurance.

The growth in Asia and the Pacific slowed down from 13% last year to around 5% - in part due to the earthquake and tsunami which hit Japan early this year.

The Arab Spring - the wave of popular uprisings against political regimes in the Arab world - caused visitor numbers to fall 11% in the Middle East and 13% in North Africa.

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