International tourist arrivals grew by 5% during the first half of 2013 compared to the same period of 2012, reaching almost 500 million, according to data just released by UNWTO.
In Europe, international tourist arrivals were up 5%, more than expected despite the lingering economic difficulties. Growth was led by Central and Eastern Europe (+9%) and Southern and Mediterranean Europe (+6%).
Destinations around the world welcomed an estimated 494 million overnight visitors between January and June 2013. This represents an increase of 5% or an additional 25 million international tourist arrivals, compared to the same period of 2012.
Results were positive in all regions and subregions, though the overall picture was mixed: growth was stronger in emerging economy destinations (+6%) than in advanced economies (+4%), a trend which has marked the sector for many years now. Europe performed stronger than expected.