World tourism has exceeded the 1,000 million travellers barrier for the first time in history. According to data from the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), 1,035 million people travelled the world in 2012, which is an increase of 4% over the previous year.
The emerging economies, with growth of 4.1% last year, returned to position themselves ahead of the advanced economies, which rose by 3.6%, while the Asia-Pacific region regained the lead it had lost a year previously, due to the tragic events in Japan, and experienced a boom of 7%.
El Mundo reported that tourists’ visits to Europe grew by 3% last year, a result which the Organization describes as “very positive” for the current economic situation. Thus, Europe was visited by 535 million tourists in 2012, which was 17 million more than in 2011.
With regards to 2013, the UNWTO forecasts a growth of between 3% and 4% for the full year, with an average annual improvement of 3.3% until 2020 when it expects to achieve around 1,800 million international tourists.