One billion tourists in 2012: Where did they come from and where did they go?

One billion tourists in 2012: Where did they come from and where did they go?

On December 13, the UNWTO published an infographic showing the origins and destinations of the one billion tourists this year. By compiling global travel data including international airport traffic and visa records, the WTTC, a London-based council, calculated that the billionth tourist crossed an international boundary on December 13.

Where do the one billion tourists come from?

According to the UNWTO, 53 percent of the tourists this year came from Europe, while 22 percent came from the Asian and Pacific region and 17 percent from the Americas.

Europe was the main destination, receiving 51 percent of the tourists, followed by Asia/Pacific, which got 22 percent of visits. The Americas received 16 percent, the Middle East 6 percent and Africa 5 percent.

This year the main reason for traveling was leisure (51%) followed by visiting family and friends (27%) and business/professional (15%). Seven percent of the trips were made for unspecified reasons.

Experts agree that the reasons for the upswing range from prosperity in growing economies such as China and Brazil to a perception of a safer world.