Record 62 million global tourists visit African countries in 2017

World Tourism hits 7-year high record in 2017 led by arrivals to Med destinations

Record 62 million global tourists visit African countries in 2017

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy had already announced last week that tourism numbers had soared, saying total earnings in a sector that accounts for 11 percent of Spain's gross domestic product (GDP) rose 12 percent to 87 billion euros ($107 billion) in 2017.

Global tourist arrivals increased by a remarkable 7% in 2017 to reach a total of 1.32 billion, the source pointed out.

Spain is set to replace the United States as the world's second most popular tourism destination while France has retained the top spot, the UN World Tourism Organisation has said. The Asia-Pacific region grew by 6% (324 million tourists), Middle East 5% (58 million) and America 3% (207 million).

The year was characterised by sustained growth in many destinations and a firm recovery in those that suffered decreases in previous years, in part driven by the global economic upswing and the robust outbound demand from many traditional and emerging source markets, particularly a rebound in tourism spending from Brazil and Russian Federation.

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For Spain in general, Unwto Secretary general rules out that he has touched his ceiling in 2017 and has predicted a new year of growth although destinations that have traditionally competed with Spain in Mediterranean are recovering at an accelerated rate in Last times.

"The current strong momentum is expected to continue in 2018, though at a more sustainable pace after eight years of steady expansion following the 2009 economic and financial crisis", it says. South-East Asia recorded an increase of +8% and Oceania generated +7% growth.

It is expected that Spain will take the second position with 82 million visitors a year ago, UNWTO head Zurab Pololikashvili said.

All regions recorded robust growth in worldwide tourist arrivals a year ago, compared to 2016.

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Global tourist arrivals in Europe reached 671m in 2017 - that's a "remarkable" +8% climb following a comparatively weaker 2016.

"It is expected" that Spain will take the second position with some 82 million visitors previous year, United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) chief Zurab Pololikashvili told reporters.

Tourism in Europe and the Americas is forecast to grow approximately +3.5%-4.5%, Asia Pacific by +5%-6%, Africa by +5%-7% and the Middle East by +4%-6%. Western Europe (+7%), Northern Europe (+5%) and Central and Eastern Europe (+5%) also recorded robust growth. South America (+7%) led growth, followed by Central America and the Caribbean (both +4%), with the latter showing clear signs of recovery in the aftermath of hurricanes Irma and Maria.

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