The United Nations expects the number of tourists worldwide to hit the 1 billion mark in 2012, according to a report from the AFP. A continued rise in world tourism was seen in 2011 despite a slew of economic worries, political tensions, and natural disasters.
According to the report, countries with advanced economies saw faster tourism growth than those with emerging ones for the first time in years. While figures slowed in places like North Africa and the Middle East, the number of visitors arriving on flights to Europe rose six percent over 2010.
Though the 1 billion mark is in sight, officials caution that a slower rate of growth is expected in 2012. They envision three to four percent growth worldwide this year compared to 2011’s robust 6.7% gain.
CC Flickr photo credit: Kenneth Lu