Spain is set to replace USA as world's second most popular tourist destination. This is according to statistics from UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). The number of international tourists arriving in Spain grew by over 7 per cent in 2017. Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy corroborated figures. He said country had record year in 2017, with more than 82 million international visitors. growing number of international arrivals continues growing trend. figure for 2017 broke Spain's tourist arrival records for fifth straight year. This is despite terror attack on Barcelona in August, and demonstrations and unrest in Spain's Catalonia region for independence.
There was 8 per cent increase in tourism to Europe in 2017. UNWTO said: "Led by Mediterranean destinations, Europe recorded extraordinary results for such large and rather mature region." Africa is increasingly becoming established and attractive destination and tourism there also went up by 8 per cent. Asia and Pacific saw growth of 6 per cent, the Middle East recorded 5 per cent, and tourism to Americas grew by 3 per cent. UNWTO added: "International travel continues to grow strongly, consolidating tourism sector as key driver in economic development." France retained its position as world's top tourist destination.