Travel is booming as world tourism numbers are up 6% in first half of 2018

International tourist numbers grew 6.0% in the first half of 2018, with southern Europe and southeast Asia posting the biggest growth, due to the upturn in the global economy, the UN World Tourism Organisation said on Wednesday.

The number of international tourists surged to around 641 million between January and June, some 37 million more than during the same period last year, the Madrid-based United Nations body said in a statement.

SEE: New UNWTO programme sets its sights on doubling arrivals to the Mother Continent

"Today's release of international tourism data for the first half of 2018 serves as further proof of the sector's resilience and relentless growth trajectory," said UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili.

All world regions "enjoyed robust growth in tourist arrivals" during the first half, with the increase "fuelled by strong demand from major source markets, supported by an upswing in the global economy".

Britain, France and Russia all posted double-digit increases in outbound spending in Europe, while India and South Korea drove growth in Asia.

PICS: Overtourism in Venice leads to turning away visitors 

Southern and Mediterranean Europe saw an 8.7% rise in international visitors while southeast Asia recorded a 9.4% increase.

Tourist arrivals overall in Europe, the world's most-visited region, grew 6.8%.

China, the world's top tourism source market, reported similar spending as in the same time last year.

In the whole of 2017, the number of international tourist arrivals grew by 7.0% from the previous year to 1.33 billion, and the UN body expects the figure to grow by four to five percent this year.

WATCH: Mediterranean tourism boom threatens coastal ecosystems

Find Your Escape by searching and comparing flight prices here. You can also sign-up for the Traveller24 Weekly Newsletter – Subscribe here. Or download the News24 App here, to receive expertly curated travel ideas and deals directly to your mobile. 

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
When assisting your child with remote learning this year, did you:
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Follow the school's comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) curriculum?
13% - 248 votes
Adjust the CSE curriculum to suit the family's morals?
24% - 455 votes
Ignore the schools CSE programme and do your own teaching?
63% - 1199 votes
Vote
ZAR/USD
15.33
(+0.69)
ZAR/GBP
20.42
(+0.77)
ZAR/EUR
18.34
(+0.45)
ZAR/AUD
11.26
(+0.79)
ZAR/JPY
0.15
(+0.75)
Gold
1803.89
(+1.43)
Silver
23.34
(+3.14)
Platinum
981.00
(+1.65)
Brent Crude
47.66
(-0.77)
Palladium
2386.99
(+1.64)
All Share
57399.42
(+0.54)
Top 40
52665.04
(+0.55)
Financial 15
11243.89
(+0.76)
Industrial 25
79098.27
(+0.17)
Resource 10
53259.69
(+1.06)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo