2012 tourist arrivals said to exceed 1 billion worldwide

 International tourism arrivals broke the 1 billion barrier for the first time last year, reaching 1.035 billion, a 3.9% increase from 2011, the United Nations’ World Tourism Organization (WTO) said Tuesday. International arrivals in both Southeast Asia and North Africa jumped 9%, while the Eastern Europe and Asia Pacific sub-regions had 8% and 7% increases, according to the WTO. Japan, whose 2011 tourism numbers were hindered by the March earthquake and tsunami, had a 37% surge in international arrivals last year. India and South Africa each had a 22% jump, while Sweden, Korea, Thailand and Poland each had arrival increases of at least 16% in 2012. As for root markets, the number of international visitors coming from China jumped 42% last year, while the number of international travelers from China and Venezuela rose 31%. Poland, the Philippines and Malaysia each boosted their numbers of international travelers by at least 15% in 2012. The U.S. boosted its number of inbound international travelers by 10% last year, while increasing the number of outbound international travelers by 7%.

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