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We may be over halfway through the year, but already 2017 has seen a significant rise in tourism, according to figures from the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).

UNWTO revealed that international tourist arrivals rose by 6 per cent worldwide between January and April, compared to the same period a year earlier. These results have led to the highest levels of business confidence in a decade, with the outlook for May-August and indeed the rest of 2017 looking like it will meet similarly high levels.

In the first four months of the year there were 368 million international visitors (overnight), which is up 21 million (6 per cent) during the same time in 2016. Each region saw growth in the first part of this year, including the Middle East which saw a 10 per cent rise in international tourists.

Elsewhere, Africa saw a growth of 8 per cent and Northern Africa itself saw a massive increase of 18 per cent overall. Visitors to the Americas rose by 4 per cent and Europe and Asia-Pacific received 6 per cent more. The positive results in Europe were particularly significant, when it saw the most visitors in 2016, but was hampered by negative results due to security.

Visit Britain did their own research into the amount of visitors within the UK which seemed to correlate with those found by UNWTO. It showed that more than 8 million visits were made during the first quarter of the year, a rise of 10 per cent from the same period in 2016.

Further to the insight into the 2017 tourism figures, UNWTO also released the figures for the top spenders in tourism during 2016. It showed that China spent a staggering $261 billion during the year, a rise of 12 per cent. That was more than double what the United States spent ($124 billion) and over three times that of Germany ($81 billion). The UK ($64 billion) and France ($40 billion) completed the top five. 

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