Europe and the Pacific are leading the world’s tourism recovery, growing by six per cent in the first nine months of 2013.
The headline figures come from UNWTO’s World Tourism Barometer, which also states that tourism arrivals in destinations around the world grew by an average five per cent, which is above the organisation’s forecast.
The report reveals that a record 845 million tourist arrivals were recorded worldwide, with 41 million more people travelling between January and September 2013, than during the same period in the previous year, the growing numbers act as an important stimulus to the receiving economies.
UNWTO secretary general Taleb Rifai said it was encouraging to see “strong results in many European destinations, where the tourism sector is, undoubtedly, one of the engines of the economic recovery”.
He continued: “International tourism continues to grow above expectations, supporting economic growth in both advanced and emerging economies and bringing much needed support to job creation, GDP and the balance of payments of many destinations.”
The better-than-expected figures from Europe were driven largely by above-average results in Central and Eastern Europe, which saw seven per cent growth.
These results are particularly encouraging, given that the average growth rate of international tourism in Europe between 2000 and 2012 was just 2.7 per cent.