New data from the World Tourism Organization highlighted common trends being seen among global travelers so far in 2014. According to UNWTO, a strong peak season for international tourism is expected to continue at high rates after international tourist arrivals rose by 5 percent in the first four months of the year.
There were 317 million international tourists in destinations across the globe between January and April. The report found that that number was 14 million higher than at the same time last year.
“The encouraging start to 2014 and the overall positive sentiment in the sector raise high expectations for the current peak tourism season, benefiting destinations from both advanced and emerging economies,” UNWTO secretary-general Taleb Rifai said in a statement. “The 5 percent growth in the number of international tourists crossing borders in the first months of 2014 further reflects the impact of the increase in public support to the sector as well as the immense capacity of tourism companies to adapt to changing markets.”
According to Skift, summer vacations in the U.S. and Europe are helping to drive travel demand. UNWTO estimates that more than 460 million tourists will leave their home countries for global travel.
All regions of the world saw an increase in international arrivals by at least 4 percent with the strongest growth seen in the Americas and Asia and the Pacific.
South Asia, northern Europe, north Africa and southern Mediterranean Europe saw tourism increase by 8 percent from January through April, according to data provided by UNWTO.
North-east Asia tourism grew by 7 percent during the first four months of the year while it increased by 6 percent in Asia and the Pacific and America. UNWTO data found that European and African tourism grew by 5 percent while the Middle East increased by 4 percent between January and April.