TRAVEL GAZETTE – The number of international tourists declined by 3 percent in Africa, reaching a total of 53 million in 2015, the UN World Tourism Organization has said.
Tourism arrivals decreased by 8 percent in North Africa and in Sub-Saharan Africa by 1 percent, though the latter returned to positive growth in the second half of the year, UNWTO said in the latest report received in Nairobi.
Some African countries such as Kenya, Nigeria, Tunisia and Egypt’s travel and tourism industry have been battered by security fears and crime.
However, Kenya has improved security along the coastal region and offered massive incentives that are likely to revitalize tourism, which it depends for the hard foreign currency.
Globally, international tourist arrivals grew by 4.4 percent in 2015 to reach a total of 1.18 billion in 2015, the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer shows.
Some 50 million more tourists (overnight visitors) travelled to international destinations around the world last year as compared to 2014.
UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai, said international tourism reached new heights in 2015, adding that the robust performance of the sector is contributing to economic growth and job creation in many parts of the world.
“It is thus critical for countries to promote policies that foster the continued growth of tourism, including travel facilitation, human resources development and sustainability,” Rifai said.