ENCOURAGING RESULTS ACROSS THE WORLD
In the first months of 2012, growth was positive in all regions, with the exception of the Middle East (-1 percent), where there were nonetheless encouraging signs of recovery, such as in Egypt (+32 percent in the first quarter). Southeast Asia and South Asia (both at +10 percent) led growth by sub-region.
Africa was the fastest-growing region with an increase of over 7 percent in international tourist arrivals thanks to continued growth in Sub-Saharan Africa (+7 percent) and a clear rebound in North Africa (+8 percent), as Tunisia (+53 percent in the first quarter) started to recover. Asia and the Pacific saw a 7 percent increase in tourist arrivals, led by South Asia and Southeast Asia (both +10 percent). Northeast Asia (+6 percent) recorded higher growth as well, with arrivals to Japan up by almost 10 percent in the first quarter. The Americas also reported significant growth (+6 percent), driven by the sustained strong demand in South America (+8 percent) and Central America (+7 percent).
Worldwide, international tourist arrivals surpassed 131 million in the first two months of 2012, up from 124 million in the same period of 2011.
According to the forecast prepared by UNWTO at the beginning of the year, international tourist arrivals are projected to increase by some 3 percent to 4 percent in 2012. For the year as a whole, the number of international tourist arrivals is expected to reach one billion for the first time.
MEDIA CONTACT: Principal Media Officer, Marcelo Risi, Tel: (+34) 91 567 81 60, Email: mrisi@UNWTO.org , Web: www.UNWTO.org ; UNWTO Communications Program, Tel: +34 91-567-8100, Fax: +34 91-567-8218, Email: comm@UNWTO.org
Source: UNWTO via ForImmediateRelease.net