The number of international tourists worldwide grew by 4% between January and August 2012 compared to the same eight months of 2011 (28 million more). With 705 million tourists up to August 2012, UNWTO remains confident that one billion international tourists will have travelled the world by the end of the year.
Growth slowed down in June (+2.7%) and July (+1.4%) as compared the first five months of the year (average of 5%), yet recovered in August at 4%, a positive result for the month that accounts for the highest volume of international tourism in the year.
UNWTO expects growth of 3% to 4% for the year as a whole, while forecasting a slight slowdown in demand for 2013 (+2% to 4%).
Meanwhile, emerging economies (+5%) have clearly regained the lead as compared to advanced ones (+4%).
By regions, growth was stronger in Asia and the Pacific and Africa, followed by the Americas and Europe. The Middle East continues to show signs of recovery, with particularly promising results in Egypt.
International Tourist Arrivals by subregion, year to date until Sep 2012: