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Global tourists surpass projections to near a billion

By Philip Mwakio | December 28th 2014

The volume of international tourists reached 978 million, between January and October - 45 million more than in the same period last year, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).

This is a 4.7 per cent increment. UNWTO, in a statement, said international tourism continues to grow above the long-term trend projections for the period 2010-2020 (three per cent), and is set to end the year at over 1.1 billion. The latest UN World Tourism Barometer shows that these number are rising above expectations.

The strongest growth was registered in the Americas - at eight per cent, followed by Asia and the Pacific five per cent  and Europe at four per cent. By sub-region, North America had nine per cent and South Asia (eight per cent) were the star performers, as well as Southern and Mediterranean Europe, North-East Asia and Northern Europe all at seven per cent.
"In view of this trend, international tourism is set to end  this year with record numbers," said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai.

Africa's international tourist numbers grew by three per cent with North Africa consolidating its recovery two per cent. Sub-Saharan Africa's arrivals were up by three per cent despite the challenges of the Ebola Disease Outbreak in a few West African countries. Data available reports positive growth, with Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia all improving their performance as compared to 2013.


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