International tourism is set to hit a new record by the end of 2014 with over 1.1 billion international tourists travelling the world in one single year.
During the first ten months of 2014, the number of international tourists grew by five per cent according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, rising above expectations.
Between January and October 2014, the volume of international tourists, overnight visitors, reached 978 million, 45 million more than in the same period of 2013.
With an increase of 4.7 per cent, international tourism continues to grow well above the long-term trend projected by UNWTO for the period 2010-2020 (an increase of 3.8 per cent per annum), and is set to end the year at over 1.1 billion.
By region, the strongest growth was registered in the Americas (up eight per cent), followed by Asia and the Pacific (up five per cent) and Europe (four per cent growth). By sub-region, North America (up nine per cent) and South Asia (up eight per cent) were the star performers, as well as southern and Mediterranean Europe, North-East Asia and Northern Europe (all up seven per cent).
“In view of this trend, international tourism is set to end 2014 with record numbers”, said UNWTO secretary general, Taleb Rifai.
“These are remarkable results considering that different parts of the world continue to face significant geopolitical and health challenges, while the global economic recovery remains rather fragile and uneven”, he added.
“More importantly, we see a growing political commitment to the tourism sector in many countries.
“This is encouraging, not in the least because tourism is one of the sectors that is best able to deliver on employment at a moment when job creation need to be a priority to all”, he added.