Palestine is the world’s fastest growing tourist destination as it has seen in 2017 a 57.8% rise in international arrivals says Mariam Nabbout in stepFEED citing a new report compiled by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). The report features two other MENA countries in its top ten list. These are Egypt, second and Tunisia, in fifth. The Telegraph amongst several other media reported on the latest trends of worldwide tourism.
Tourism that this morning of August 18, 2017 events have somewhat tarnished further in the city of Barcelona where for months some sort Tourism-phobia was soul-scathingly debated amongst the local politicians.
Would tourism be affected by these unfortunate events? We republish excerpts of this article of Gavin Haines with our thanks and respectful compliments to the publisher.
A new report compiled by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has revealed the world’s fastest growing tourist destinations for 2017 – and the results throw up a few surprises.
So what can we read into the data? Well, the fact that countries such as Egypt and Tunisia feature in the top ten seems to indicate their ability – against the odds – to bounce back after a string of terrorist attacks.
As well as telling tales of resilience, the report also chronicles holidaymakers’ increasing appetite to travel beyond traditional destinations and forge paths on roads less travelled. The presence of Mongolia and Nicaragua in the top ten is testament to that.
The list throws up a few surprises, such as Mongolia (pictured) CREDIT: GETTY
Here are the fastest growing tourist destinations so far in 2017:
Earlier this year the street artist, Banksy, opened a boutique hotel in Palestine’s West Bank, which, in hindsight, appears to have been a sage move: tourism in Palestine is booming. According to the UNWTO, the occupied territories witnessed a 57.8 per cent rise in international arrivals so far this year.
Overlooking the Israeli West Bank barrier, Banksy’s politically-charged Walled Off Hotel has likely helped raise awareness of tourism in Palestine, which is on course to welcome more than 630,000 holidaymakers by the end of the year. Read our review of the Walled Off Hotel here.
Egypt’s tourist industry has had a torrid time of late. Ongoing political unrest and the downing of a Russian passenger plane in 2015 – which investigators attributed to terrorism – deterred many people from visiting the North African nation.
Much to the chagrin of the Egyptian authorities, the UK government still refuses to let airlines fly to Sharm el-Sheikh, from where the doomed jet departed, meaning Britain is the only European nation apart from Russia not serving the holiday resort. That hasn’t stopped other nationalities flocking to the country, which has witnessed a 51 per cent spike in international tourist arrivals this year and is on course to welcome nearly 8 million holidaymakers in 2017 (though that’s still well below the 14 million who visited in 2010).
Tunisia’s tourist industry suffered a similar fate to Egypt’s following the Sousse beach massacre of 2015, when a gunman killed 38 people – most of them 30 Britons – during a shooting rampage.
The hotel where the massacre took place reopened earlier this year and the FCO has since eased its travel advice for Tunisia, which seems to have signalled a change in fortunes for the country: the UNWTO reports arrivals are up by 32.5 per cent so far this year. If the trend continues, some 7.5 million holidaymakers would visit Tunisia in 2017, not far off the 7.8 million who flocked there in 2010.