The latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer contains very positive information – there is a definite growth in the number of international tourist arrivals. Despite a challenging economic situation, the number of international arrivals from January to August 2012 added 4% comparing to the same period of 2011.
August 2012 marked the new record – 705 million of tourists since the beginning of the year. UNWTO is sure that this year we will reach a milestone – one billion of international tourists. Even though there were some weak months in 2012, the overall forecast is very positive and the remainder of the year is expected to bring more good news. While the growth of international arrivals was somewhat slow in June and July (+2.7% and 1.4% respectively), August featured a recovery with the growth of 4%. This has also been the best month since the beginning of 2012. The growth of the whole year is expected to be around 3-4%.
When it comes to describing the most popular destinations, it is clearly seen that emerging economies take the lead with the growth of 5%. The most popular regions are Asia and the Pacific. They are followed by Africa, the Americas and Europe. The Middle East is at the bottom of the list, but it shows signs of recovery. The countries with the biggest growth of international arrivals are Japan (+48%), South Korea (+26%), South Africa (+26%), India (+235), Poland (+19%), Thailand (+17%), Russia (+16%), and Czech Republic (+13%).