International tourist arrivals worldwide grew by 4 per cent between January and June 2016 compared to the same period last year, proving tourism to be "one of the most resilient economic sectors worldwide."
The figures, from latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, detailed that destinations worldwide received 561 million international tourists (overnight visitors), 21 million more than in the same period in 2015.
While some destinations -- such as Asia and the Pacific -- showed renewed strength during first half of 2016, receiving 9 per cent more international arrivals and the highest growth across world regions, others, including Europe (+3 per cent), showed mixed results.
In the Americas, international arrivals increased by 4 per cent, led by Central America and South America, while in Africa (+5 per cent), Sub-Saharan destinations rebounded strongly. North Africa, however, continued to report weak results.
Limited data for the Middle East suggested an estimated decrease of 9 per cent in international arrivals during the six-month period, though results varied from destination to destination.
Commenting on the data, UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai said, "tourism has proven to be one of the most resilient economic sectors worldwide," but there's more work to be done.
"Safety and security are key pillars of tourism development and we need to strengthen our common action to build a safe, secure and seamless travel framework. This is no time to build walls or point fingers; it is time to build an alliance based on a shared vision and a joint responsibility."