Int'l tourist arrivals grow by 4.3 pct in first eight months of 2015: UNWTO

Updated: 2015-11-01 14:01


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Int'l tourist arrivals grow by 4.3 pct in first eight months of 2015: UNWTO

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The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) confirmed on Friday that international tourist arrivals have risen by 4.3 percent in the first eight months of 2015.

The UNWTO World Tourism Barometer shows the number of people visiting other countries at the end of August 2015 stood at 810 million, 33 million more than in the same period of 2014.

The UNWTO explains this increase due to the continued popularity of Europe as a destination with a 5-percent increase in visitor numbers, while Asia and the Pacific, the Americas and the Middle East all enjoyed 4 percent growth.

This was counterbalanced by Africa, which saw a 5 percent fall in the number of arrivals.

"Sustained growth in international tourism is very positive news for all as the sector increasingly contributes to creating jobs, promoting trade and investment, developing infrastructure and fostering inclusive economic growth," said UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai.

" This is particularly true in recent years, when tourism has been instrumental in supporting the economic recovery of many countries and in generating new jobs," said Rifai.

2015 continues the trend of recent years which have seen none-stop growth on a global scale, although Rifai highlighted the need to guard against complacency and also the importance of "placing sustainability at the core of our action."

Meanwhile China continues to be of vital importance as a source market with double digit growth in the number of Chinese nationals travelling abroad in 2015, with "Japan, Thailand, the United States and various European destinations," all benefitting.