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UNWTO: Tourism becomes world’s third-largest export sector

The international tourism sector has seen uninterrupted growth in arrivals for eight straight years, with 2017’s growth being the highest since 2010; with a record performance of US$ 1.6 trillion. This represents an increase of 7%, according to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

Additionally, travel industry generated another US$ 240 billion from international passenger transport taken by non-residents. Europe and Africa led the growth, with increases in arrivals of 8% and 9%, respectively.

The UN body, in its latest collection of travel industry highlights, further notes that the strong results were driven by sustained travel demand for destinations across all world regions, including a firm recovery by those that have suffered from security challenges in recent years.

In 2017, China remained the leader in global outbound travel, with an expenditure of US$ 258 billion on international travel industry. This translates to approximately one-fifth of the world’s total tourism spending in 2017, which stood at US$ 1.3 trillion, some US$ 94 billion more than in 2016. 2018 is seen to continue with the robust growth, with available data showing that international tourism recorded a year-on-year increase of 6% in arrivals between January and April.