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15/12/2017 - 18:08hs

Arab countries help drive global tourism

Middle East and North Africa destinations played a part as international traveler numbers exceeded 1.1 billion from January to October, up 7% from the same months in 2016.

São Paulo – Destinations across the Middle East, North Africa, Southern Europe and the Mediterranean fueled international tourism numbers from January to October this year, as per the World Tourism Barometer released on Thursday (14) by the United Nations World Tourism Organization’s (UNWTO). The first ten months of 2017 saw 1.127 billion travelers around the world, up 7% from the year-ago period.

According to the UNTWO, Arab countries posted good numbers. Egypt, Tunisia and Palestine are seeing a major rebound in tourist numbers after having posted weak results for the last few years, while Morocco, Bahrain, Jordan, Lebanon, Oman and the UAE get consistently improving results every year.

Southern Europe and the Mediterranean also fared well. “These robust results, the best we have seen in many years, reflect the sustained demand for travel around the world, in line with the improved global economy and the rebound of destinations that suffered declines in previous years, UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai said in a press release.

This week, the UNWTO held a conference on tourism and culture in Oman, in partnership with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco). “We must acknowledge the strong resilience of tourism reflected in the continuous growth in many destinations of the Middle East, and the rapid recovery in others,” the press release quoted Rifai saying.

North Africa saw a 13% increase in tourism through October, with numbers going up 5% in the Middle East. South America registered the highest increase in the Americas at 7%.

*Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum

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