Despite Terrorism and Unrest, Travel Was Up in 2015


Despite what sometimes felt like a constant threat of terrorism in 2015, the travel sector held its own. Indeed, 1.2 billion people visited countries that were not their own last year, up 4.4 percent from the previous year, according to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

Europe saw one of the biggest boosts, probably due in part to the weak euro, which made spending money there a good deal for many tourists. Six hundred and nine million people traveled to Europe in 2015, up 5 percent from 2014.

Related: Eww! New Study Finds Expensive Hotels Have More Germs

The strong dollar fueled a spike in visits to the Caribbean and Central America, with 7 percent growth.

The Americas saw 5 percent growth in visitors (up to 191 million tourists), as did Asia and the Pacific (277 million).

Even the conflict-ridden Middle East saw 3 percent more visitors than the previous year.

Though limited information is available, Africa tourism to Africa saw a 3 percent drop in tourism (perhaps due partially to the Ebola scare?). Travel to North Africa decline a full 8 percent, according to the UNWTO.

This year, the UNWTO expects to see a continued rise in tourism numbers to Europe, the Americas, and Asia.

Related: The 20 Biggest Mistakes You Can Make While Traveling in Europe

WATCH: Caribbean Travel: Smart Ways to Save