International tourism on the rise in 2014
Demand for international tourism continues to rise at a strong pace in the first four months of 2014, according to new figures released by the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNTWO) this week, as travel becomes more accessible than ever.
A survey released yesterday (July 22nd) indicated an increase of five per cent in the number of tourists crossing international borders in the time between January and April – a figure that is particularly meteoric as it matches the amount of growth for the entirety of 2013 in the global industry.
Destinations worldwide received a whopping 317 million overnight visitors in the start of 2014 – far above projected estimates published by the UNWTO. Secretary of the organisation Taleb Rifai was very enthusiastic about the data.
“The encouraging start to 2014 and the overall positive sentiment in the sector raise high expectations for the current peak tourism season, benefiting destinations from both advanced and emerging economies,” he commented.
“The five per cent growth in the number of international tourists crossing borders in the first months of 2014 further reflects the impact of the increase in public support to the sector as well as the immense capacity of tourism companies to adapt to changing markets.”
By region, Asia and the Pacific and the Americas saw the most growth at six per cent, while Europe and Africa both saw rises of five per cent apiece. Europe remained the most visited region in the world, maintaining the strength it displayed in 2013 and leading with growth in the Northern Europe and Southern Mediterranean Europe sub-regions.
By contrast, estimates suggest international tourist arrivals in the Middle East are down by four per cent, although there is very limited data available for this part of the world.
If you’re one of those thinking about jetting off soon, don’t forget to book adequate travel insurance – just to ensure you’ve got peace of mind during your trip.