(Ecofin Agency) - In 2018, tourist arrivals grew by 6% in the world to reach 1.4 billion, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) announced in a release published on January 21, 2019.
According to the release, this growth, which was the second since 2010, was spurred by tourist arrivals in the Middle-East and in Africa that respectively grew by 10% and 7%, way higher than the world average.
In Africa, the North is the zone that registered the strongest growth with 10% against 6% for Sub-Sahara Africa. Tourist arrivals in the continent thus reached 67 million during the period under review.
The UNWTO indicates that thanks to these record performances, world tourism exceeded the forecasts it made in a long-term outlook report, published in 2010, that forecasted the sector to cross the threshold of 1.4 billion in 2020. “The growth of tourism in recent years confirms that the sector is today one of the most powerful drivers of economic growth and development”, said the UNWTO secretary Zurab Pololikashvili (photo).
For the coming years, the institution expects a continued improvement of the performances in the world tourism, notably in Africa where increasing investments (both private and public) are being made in the tourism sector that should be boosted by the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) initiated by the African Union.
In 2019, the UNWTO expects tourist arrivals to grow by 3% to 4%, a level which is the same as historic growth trends in the sector.
Moutiou Adjibi Nourou