Tourism increases globally but falls by 5 per cent in Africa

UNWTOAccording to the United Nations World Tourism Barometer, limited data available for tourism in Africa, points to an estimated five per cent decrease in tourism within the first eight months of 2015, as against the same period last year.

North Africa saw a decrease of 10 per cent and sub-Saharan Africa saw a decrease of three per cent, according to the barometer which provides an overview of international tourism.

Within the first eight months of 2015, the number of tourists travelling the world grew by more than four per cent against the same period in 2014, reaching an estimated 810 million – an increase of 33 million.

According to the barometer, produced by the Madrid-based UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Europe was the most visited destination during the period and recorded an increase of five per cent, while the Americas, Middle East and the Asia-Pacific regions all experienced four per cent growth.

Egypt and South Africa recorded two-digit growth in tourism expenditure along with India, and China also recorded double-digit growth in outbound travel.

As forecasted by the World Travel and Tourism Council, the UNWTO’s barometer says Russia’s tourism expenditure declined, reflecting economic constraints and the depreciation of the ruble.

Brazil is also to have experienced a significant decline in its tourism expenditure.

Commenting on the global tourism growth, UNWTO Secretary General Taleb Rifai said: “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.”

By Emmanuel Odonkor

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