World tourism shows surprise spurt

2013-08-27 10:14
Madrid - International tourist numbers surged by 5.2% to nearly half a billion people worldwide in the first half of 2013, beating earlier expectations, the United Nations' World Tourism Organisation said Monday.

The growth was higher than expected, with 494 million international tourists spending at least one night abroad in the first six months of the year, it said in a report of preliminary results for the period.

As a result of the "robust" performance, the organisation said it was boosting its 2013 forecast. After originally tipping growth of three-four percent for the whole year, it now expected the increase to be at the higher end of that range "or to slightly exceed it".

Europe enjoyed growth of 5.1% in international tourist numbers in the six months, it said.
Asia and the Pacific reported growth of 6.2% including an 11.6% surge in tourists going to Southeast Asia.

But results were weaker than anticipated in the Americas, which posted growth of just 2.2%.

International tourist numbers grew 3.1% in North America but South America reported growth of just 0.3% and the Caribbean had growth of a meagre 0.1%.

In Africa, international tourist arrivals rose by 3.8%.

In the Middle East, tourist numbers soared by 12.9% but these figures should be viewed "with caution" because of uneven results and limited data, the group said.

Read more on:    travel  |  travel international

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

SHARE: publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside Travel


#FindYourEscape with Traveller24

Your insider guide to exploring South Africa and the world...
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.