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Tourism in Africa grows at 5% in 2018 – UNWTO

Tourism in Africa saw some growth in 2018, the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Tourism Barometer published last week shows.

In 2017, sector contributed significantly to the Africa’s economy, adding $72 billion to the continent’s GDP, according to the Travel and Tourism Economic Impact 2018 Africa.

The UNWTO World Tourism Barometer which was released on November 28, 2018, monitors trends on a regular basis to provide global tourism stakeholders with up to date analysis on international tourism.

The report covering global tourism, shows that Asia and the Pacific led growth (+7 per cent), followed by Europe and the Middle East (+6 per cent each), Africa (+5 per cent) and the Americas (+3 per cent).

The January-September 2018 Barometer also indicates that preliminary data on international tourism receipts confirm the positive trend seen in arrivals, with particularly strong results in Asian and European destinations.

Even though international tourism receipts in Africa totaled $32.6 billion in 2016 and experienced 11.2 per cent of job increase in 2017 as shown by the Africa tourism monitor published in July 2018, no African country appeared among the top tourism earners

Among the top earners, tourism earnings in the United Kingdom were up by 12 per cent despite a decline in arrivals. In Australia, receipts increased by 11 per cent whereas France reported an 8 per cent growth and Italy 6 per cent, both in line with growth in arrivals. Tourism receipts in the United States, Spain and Germany went up 3 per cent, the report said.

The report added that, in Asia, China recorded a 21 per cent increase in tourism earnings, with Macao (China) and Japan also leading results with 20 per cent and 19 per cent growth, respectively.

The report says the Russian Federation (+15 per cent) reported the largest increase in spending and continues to recover strongly after some years of decline. The United Kingdom reported 10 per cent growth despite a weak pound against the euro and US dollar, and tourism spending from France picked up 10 per cent after some years of rather flat growth.

The United States, the world’s second largest source market, recorded a 7 per cent increase in line with the performance of recent years while China showed a minor decrease in spending in the first six months of 2018 as a result of the weaker Yuan, it added.

By Asabea Akonor

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