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Arrivals to Sub-Saharan Africa bounces back
International tourist arrivals in Africa experienced a clear rebound in sub-Saharan Africa, up 13% for the first four months of 2016, according to United Nations World Tourism Organisation.
This compares with global growth in tourist arrivals of 5%. According to UNWTO, by sub-region, sub-Saharan Africa led the growth, strongly rebounding from previous years’ modest results. Global growth is also slightly up on last year’s 4.6%.
The organisation also warned that results for Africa and the Middle East should be read with caution as they were based on limited data.
“Results show a strong desire to travel and this continues to drive tourism growth. Destinations keep benefiting from solid demand across all world regions, despite ongoing challenges, showing that tourism is a dynamic and resilient economic sector,” said Taleb Rifai, UNWTO Secretary-General.
Rifai said the tragic events of recent months should be a reminder that safety and security remained a major challenge for all. “We must continue to work closely together to address this global threat and ensure tourism is an integral part of emergency planning and response at global, regional and national level.”
UNWTO estimates that 500 million tourists will travel internationally between May and August 2016, the Northern hemisphere summer holiday peak season, accounting for about 41% of the year’s total international tourist arrivals.
The organisation also warned that the United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union had raised uncertainty in the market and led to a substantial depreciation of the UK pound. “However, UNWTO does not expect this to have a significant impact on international travel in the short term,” it said.