All Policies Include Coronavirus Cover

Worldwide tourism is on the rise, research shows

10 October 2016 08:05

Destinations worldwide received 561 million international tourists between January and June 2016

Destinations worldwide received 561 million international tourists between January and June 2016

People travelling abroad is on the rise, according to the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO)

Destinations worldwide received 561 million international tourists, 21 million more than in 2015.

International tourist arrivals worldwide grew by 4% between January and June 2016 compared with the same period last year.

Growth within largest markets

China, the world's top source market, continues to report double-digit growth in expenditure on international travel (up 20% in the first quarter of 2016), benefiting destinations in the region and beyond.

The United States, the world's second largest market, saw increases expenditure on outbound travel of 8% through July, thanks to its strong currency.

The third largest market, Germany, reported a 4% increase in expenditure through July.

Holidaymakers visiting any destination are advised to take out travel insurance to protect themselves.

Asia sees the biggest increase in visitors

Asia and the Pacific attracted 9% more international arrivals, the highest growth across world regions.

In the Americas, international arrivals increased by 4%, led by Central America and South America.

Europe as a whole saw an increase of 3% but showed mixed results, with solid growth in many destinations offset by weaker performance in others, due to terrorism fears.

In Africa, there was a rise of 5%, Sub-Saharan destinations rebounded strongly, while North Africa continued to report weak results.

Limited data for the Middle East points to an estimated decrease of 9% in international arrivals this six-month period, though results vary from destination to destination.

UNWTO secretary general, Taleb Rifai said: "Tourism has proven to be one of the most resilient economic sectors worldwide.

"It is creating jobs for millions, at a time when providing perspectives for a better future to people of all regions is one of our biggest challenges.

He added that travel also creates bonds "among people of all nations and backgrounds, bringing down stereotypes and fighting fear and distrust".

He says security is the key to tourism development and calls for countries to band together to build a safe, secure and seamless travel framework.

"This is no time to build walls or point fingers; it is time to build an alliance based on a shared vision and a joint responsibility," he said.