Europe posts 'extraordinary' pace of growth in first half of 2017: UN

EUROPEAN tourism is on the rebound according to the latest stats from the UN World Tourism Organization, which found that international tourist arrivals were up 8% in the first half of the year.

Between January and June of this year, Europe's 28 countries received 231 million international tourists – 17 million more than the 214 million who traveled to the continent during the same period last year.

Spain recorded the highest growth at 12%, followed closely by the UK (+11%), France (+8%), Germany (+4%) and Italy (+3%).

Analysts call the performance "extraordinary" considering the maturity of most destinations and the large base volume.

"This growth follows a modest 2% increase in 2016 and reflects a clear rebound in destinations that suffered decreases in previous years, such as Turkey, France and Belgium," reads the report.

At the global scale, international tourism likewise posted their strongest half-year results since 2010, with an estimated 598 million international tourists traveling the world in the first half of the year – six percent growth, or 36 million more tourists.

Globally, growth was highest in the Middle East (+9 %), followed by Europe (+8 %), Africa (+8 %), Asia and the Pacific (+6 %), and the Americas (+3 %). — AFP Relaxnews