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With a record 467 million tourists traveling in the first half of 2012, international tourism remains on track to reach one billion tourists by the end of the year, despite global economic slowdown. The number of international tourists worldwide grew by 5% between January and June 2012 compared to the same period of 2011 (22 million more).
— Asia and the Pacific (+8%) led growth by region, boosted by the recovery of Japanese inbound and outbound tourism as well as by the continued strong performance of other major source markets throughout the region.
— Europe (+4%), the most visited destination in the world, consolidated its record growth of 2011, despite continuing economic volatility in the Eurozone. Results were above the regional average in Central and Eastern Europe (+7%) where many destinations saw double-digit growth, as well as in Western Europe (+5%).
— The Americas (+5%) grew in line with the world average, with Central America (+7%) and South America (+6%) recording the strongest results. In fact, South America has been one of the sub-regions with the fastest tourism growth of recent years.
— In Africa (+7%), the return of tourist flows to Tunisia is reflected in the results of North Africa (+11%). Likewise, the rebound of Egypt is clearly mirrored in the results of the Middle-East (+0.7%).
In terms of outbound markets, and among the top ten countries by expenditure on travel abroad, growth was significant in China (+30%), the Russian Federation (+15%), USA (+9%), Germany (+6%) and Canada (+6%).