Over One Billion Tourists Traveled Internationally This Year [Infographic]

The economy seems to be rebounding and that means that more people are travelling.

Over one billion tourists traveled internationally in 2012, according to the UN World Tourism organisation (UNWTO). Another five to six million traveled domestically within their own countries.

This is a record number for international travel. Global tourism has more than doubled since 1990, when 435 million tourists crossed international borders.

Europeans seem to travel the most internationally, with 53 per cent of all international visitors coming from Europe. Only 22 per cent of international tourists came from Asia, and 17 per cent came from the Americas.

Though the UNWTO does not track exactly which countries these people visit, it does track the most popular destinations by continent. The majority of international tourists went to countries in Europe (51 per cent), while 22 per cent went to Asia/Pacific and 16 per cent traveled to the Americas.

The UNWTO has launched a campaign to capitalise on this growth in international tourism called 1 Billion Tourists, 1 Billion Opportunities. They’re encouraging tourists to act responsibly by buying locally, respecting local culture, using public transportation, and protecting heritage sites.

International tourism is one of the world’s largest economic sectors, accounting for 9% of global GDP (direct, indirect and induced impact), one in every 12 jobs, and six per cent of world trade, according to the UNWTO. 

Tourism hits 1 billion infographic

Photo: World Tourism organisation UNWTO

Tourism hits 1 billion infographic

Photo: World Tourism organisation UNWTO

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