UN: World tourist numbers hit 1 billion this week

By REUTERS
December 12, 2012 18:19

 
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MADRID - The number of annual tourists crossing international borders will reach 1 billion this week, the United Nations World Tourism Organization said on Wednesday, with Chinese travelers the biggest growth driver.

Tourism grew between 3.5 percent and 4 percent in 2012, the secretary general of the UNWTO said, with the billionth tourist expected to touch down somewhere in the world on Thursday.

Chinese tourists, whose numbers increased 30 percent year-on-year, and their Russian counterparts, whose numbers swelled 16 percent, offer big opportunities for traditional tourist destinations like the Mediterranean, but countries must do more to make traveling easier for them, the UN said.

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