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UK helps set new world tourism record

21 January 2016 09:18

UK holidaymakers boosted world tourism figures in 2015

UK holidaymakers boosted world tourism figures in 2015

British holidaymakers have helped contribute towards unprecedented world tourism numbers, the UN reports.

The 6% increased spending by Britons overseas in 2015, along with growth in the US and China, helped drive the new record.

The amount of overnight trips across the world climbed by 4.4% to nearly 1.2 billion customers in 2015, the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) said.

The UN believes the UK's rebounding economy and strong currency are behind its tourists' increased spending.

Biggest winners in 2015

- 5% arrival growth was seen in the Americas, the Pacific, Asia and Europe

- 3% growth was seen in the Middle East

- a 3% shrinkage was seen in Africa, although information is sketchier on this continent

Tourism safeguards

Wherever British tourists go, they can secure peace of mind by taking out trusted travel insurance.

This can cover them should holiday gremlins appear, such as lost luggage, mislaid passports, or delayed or cancelled flights.

Specialist medical cover can also be obtained which can insure travellers against lost medication and pay for round-the-clock emergency medical treatment.

What the experts say

An ABTA spokeswoman called the new UN numbers "very encouraging".

The British travel organisation's spokeswoman says the trend appears to be continuing into 2016, according to several of its members.

She says that the amount of bookings for this summer made during the opening full week in January was up 4% compared to the corresponding week in 2015.

Further growth predicted

The UNWTO expects another record year in 2016 but with growth falling marginally from 4.4% to 4%.

Taleb Rifai, its secretary general, says international tourism's "robust performance" is helping to create jobs and economic growth throughout several regions.

Mr Rifai says it is key that nations continue promoting policies which encourage the sector's ongoing expansion.