The first third of 2016 closed with 348 million international tourist arrivals , 5.3% more than the record of 330 million reached in 2015.
Tourism started strongly in 2016. International movements increased by 5.3% in the first quarter , according to the barometer of the World Tourism Organization ( OMT ).
The results are positive in almost all regions and many destinations have registered double-digit growth, worldwide has been recorded 348 million trips , 18 million more than in the first four months of 2015 . If this trend continues , 2016 will be the seventh consecutive year that tourism grows above the average of 4 % estimated by UNWTO.
Only the Middle East suffers a setback
By region, Asia – Pacific carries the highest growth with an annual rate of 9%. It has been recorded in all subregions a positive variation of 7% or higher. The second largest increase is for Africa, which closed the quarter with 7 % more tourists than last year . And this despite the north of the continent , deeply affected by the terrorist threat, has suffered a decline of 8%
North America , meanwhile , experiences a year growth of 5%, while Central America and South America exceed 7% 2015 results. Europe, the world’s most visited region , grew by 4 % compared to the first quarter of 2015. Finally, international tourist arrivals to the Middle East fell by 7 %, according to the limited information available
UNWTO expects tourism flows will increase between 3.5% and 4.5 % in 2016 overall , confirming its long-term forecast , pointing to a growth of 3.8 % annually between 2010 and 2020. Also , estimates that about 500 million international tourists made trips between May and August 2016 , a figure that represents about 41 % of trips of the year .