Europe Visitor spending plunged 22% in Turkey last year By Jamie Biesiada / March 20, 2017 Share 1 -- While global tourism still grew in 2016 despite terror threats around the world, countries where terrorist attacks have occurred have been hurt, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC). The WTTC said global tourism grew 3.3% in 2016, and for the sixth year in a row its growth outpaced the global economy. It contributed $7.6 trillion to the global GDP.However, inbound tourism spending was down in European countries where attacks happened in 2016 -- Belgium, down 4.4%; France, down 7.3%; and Turkey, down 22%. Visitor spending also declined in North Africa by 16%, according to the WTTC. With its travel and tourism GDP 50% below its peak level in 2008, Egypt was particularly hard hit.Other destinations perceived as safer, however, are doing well, the WTTC said. Bulgaria and Cyprus had sharp growth in 2016 (12.4% and 17.1%, respectively), with Portugal and Spain showing robust growth (4.6% and 5.2%). Emerging destinations Slovakia, Poland and Hungary also showed strong performance (13.2%, 8.6% and 6.8%, respectively).Meanwhile, in the wake of Brexit, the WTTC said the United Kingdom's travel and tourism sector "is expected to hold up in 2017," even though it expects an outbound travel drop.The WTTC is projecting visitor spending in the U.K. will grow 6.2% this year as it is a less expensive destination for international travelers.However, domestic and outbound travel will likely suffer this year, the council said, attributing that to higher inflation and weakened consumer spending prospects. The pound's reduced value is also expected to impact the spending power of U.K. citizens and their likelihood to travel abroad."There is still widespread uncertainty on the exact impact Brexit will have on the travel and tourism sector," WTTC president and CEO David Scowsill said in a statement.He advised the government in the U.K. to focus on the labor mobility needs of the travel industry, which employs workers from around the world; to protect visa-free travel; to remain part of the European Single Aviation Market, which opened new routes and reduced ticket prices; and to invest in meeting the demand of border systems at airports and ports.