International tourism set to reach record high by end of 2014

The number of tourists visiting locations across the globe is set to reach a record high as 2014 draws to a close, according to figures from the global tourism body.

The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has argued that international tourism numbers are set to surpass 1.1 billion in a single year for the first time, with figures for the first few months of 2014 already proving impressive.Travelling Abroad

The number of international tourists leapt by 5% to 978 million in the first ten months of the year, a figure that has jumped up by 45 million compared to the same period in 2013.

On the upward trend in international tourist numbers, UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai, said:

“In view of this trend, international tourism is set to end 2014 with record numbers.

“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 went on to add:

“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 needs to be a priority to all.”

On a regional basis, strongest growth in tourism numbers was recorded in America (+8%), followed by Asia, the Pacific (+5%) and Europe (+4%).

When figures were broken down further to sub-regions: North America (+9%) came out on top followed by South Asia (+8%), while Southern and Mediterranean Europe, North-East Asia and Northern Europe all achieved growth of +7%.

In Western Europe growth was less marked (+2%) while Central Europe saw 0% growth in international tourism figures. This compares to a brighter picture for the last three years when arrivals grew at an average annual figure of 8%.

Preliminary 2014 full year results for international tourist arrivals will be released by the UNWTO by the 27th of January 2015.

If you are planning a trip to visit all corners of the globe it's important to organise worldwide travel insurance in advance.

Date Created: 22 December 2014

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