International tourism up +3.9% in 2016 for seventh straight year of growth

International tourist arrivals grew +3.9% in 2016 to 1,235 million, according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer.

UNWTO (United Nations World Tourism Organization) described the growth as “robust”, with some 46 million more tourists (overnight visitors) travelling internationally last year compared to 2015.

The organisation also noted that 2016 was the seventh consecutive year of sustained growth following the 2009 global financial crisis. A comparable sequence of uninterrupted solid growth has not been recorded since the 1960s, it said. As a result, there were 300 million more international tourists in 2016 compared to the pre-crisis record in 2008. International tourism receipts grew at a similar pace in this period.

“Tourism has shown extraordinary strength and resilience in recent years, despite many challenges, particularly those related to safety and security,” commented UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai.

“International travel continues to grow strongly and contribute to job creation and the wellbeing of communities around the world.”

“Tourism has shown extraordinary strength and resilience in recent years, despite many challenges, particularly those related to safety and security” – UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai

Results by region

At +8%, Africa experienced a strong rebound after two weaker years. Sub-Saharan Africa (+11%) led growth, while a gradual recovery started in North Africa (+3%)

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Source: The Moodie Davitt Report