Global international tourist numbers push past 1.1 billion in 2014

TouristThe number of travellers working their way around the globe pushed past the 1.1 billion mark in 2014 and things are only set to get better in 2015, according to the UN World Tourism Barometer.

The Barometer revealed that worldwide international tourist numbers increased by 4.7% in 2014 in a year-on-year comparison with Europe, revealed as the most visited region in the world. International tourists flocked to the continent in their droves, with visitor numbers reaching a total of 588 million in 2014 - a 4% leap compared to figures for 2013.

When this figure was broken down, it was found: Northern Europe and Southern and Mediterranean Europe took pole position (both +7%), followed by Western Europe (+2%) and a more stagnant 0% for Central and Eastern Europe.

Further afield figures from the Barometer revealed that fans of far flung destinations put Asia and the Pacific (+5% to 263 million) at the top of their 'must visit' lists, followed by the Americas (+7% to 181 million), the Middle East (+4% to 50 million) and Africa (+2% to 56 million).

The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) also went on to reveal that this upward trend is set to continue in 2015, making the following forecasts for the above regions this year:

  • Asia and the Pacific (+4% to +5%)
  • Americas (+4% to +5%)
  • Europe (+3% to +4%)
  • Africa (+3% to +5%)
  • Middle East (+2% to +5%)

Commenting on buoyant state of world tourism, UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai, said:

“Over the past years, tourism has proven to be a surprisingly strong and resilient economic activity and a fundamental contributor to the economic recovery by generating billions of dollars in exports and creating millions of jobs. This has been true for destinations all around the world, but particularly for Europe, as the region struggles to consolidate its way out of one of the worst economic periods in its history.”

If you are planning a holiday to the furthest corners of the globe in the coming weeks and months, it is important to organise long-haul travel insurance in advance.

Date Created: 29 January 2015

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