International Tourism Grew 4% In 2012: UNWTO
Performance By RegionIn 2012, growth was stronger in emerging economies (+4.1-percent) as compared to advanced economies (+3.6-percent), a trend that has persisted over the past few years. Despite its economic woes, Europe - the most visited region in the world - saw international tourist arrivals increase by 3-percent. Asia and the Pacific saw an increase of 15 million arrivals in 2012 (+7-percent), reaching a total 233 million international tourists. South-East Asia (+9-percent) was the best performing sub-region much due to the implementation of policies that foster intra-regional cooperation and coordination in tourism. The Americas saw an increase of 6 million arrivals (+4-percent) , reaching 162 million in total. Leading the growth were destinations in Central America (+6-percent), while South America, although up by 4-percent, showed considerable slowdown as compared to the double-digit growth of 2010 and 2011. The Caribbean (+4percent), on the other hand, is performing above the previous two years, while North America (+3-percent) consolidated its 2011 growth. Africa (+6-percent) recovered well from its setback in 2011 when arrivals declined by 1-percent due largely to the negative results of North Africa. Results in the Middle East (-5%) improved after a 7-percent decline in 2011, yet the region recorded an estimated 3 million international tourist arrivals less in 2012 in spite of the clear recovery in Egypt. The UNWTO expects relatively similar growth of between 3 to 4-percent in 2013.
Daniel Goh is the founder and chief editor of Young | Upstarts, as well as an F&B entrepreneur. Daniel has a background in public relations, and is interested in issues in entrepreneurship, small business, marketing, public relations and the online space. He can be reached at daniel [at] youngupstarts [dot] com.