INTERNATIONAL tourist arrivals grew by 4.4% in 2015 to reach a total of 1.18 billion in 2015, the sixth consecutive year of growth, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). Demand remained strong overall, though with mixed results across individual #destinations due to exchange rate fluctuations, increased safety and security concerns, and the drop in oil prices.
Growth in advanced economy destinations (+5%) exceeded that of emerging economies (+4%), boosted by the solid results of Europe (+5%). By region, Europe, the Americas, and Asia and the Pacific all recorded approximately 5% growth in 2015. Arrivals in the Middle East increased by 3% while data in Africa, albeit limited, pointed to an estimated 3% decrease largely due to weak results in North Africa, which accounts for over one third of arrivals in the region.
Taleb Rifai, UNWTO Secretary-General said: ‘Warmer temperatures, rising sea levels, coastal erosion, and biodiversity loss threaten tourism’s very future in many locations. With its manifold socio-economic benefits and broad influence on a diverse range of sectors, #tourism can and should also be a valuable part of the solution. We must therefore place the fight against climate change at the centre of tourism development, along with effective resource management, poverty reduction, and inclusive growth.’
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