2012 has been a record year for international travel, with one billion people having crossed international borders, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).
The milestone 1 billion mark was estimated by the WTTC to have been reached today, December 13th, surpassing all previous years and indicating the steady growth of international travel. The most popular destinations for travellers remain the US and France, with little change in recent years for the two ever-popular countries. However, the emergence of new travel hotspots was also said to be a contributing factor to the record numbers of travellers.
Guatemala was said to be one of these emerging destinations, drawing visitors with its heady blend of Mayan heritage, mountainous scenery, pristine beaches, bustling markets and enough secluded nooks and crannies to explore for weeks on end. Another up and coming destinations was said to be the Dominican Republic, offering a Caribbean getaway combined with a wide range of different landscapes, including mountains, deserts and of course the stunning coastal regions. Lastly, the Ivory Coast was also said to have made a significant contribution to increased traveller numbers in 2012.
"There is an inexorable growth in the number of people who want to travel around the world," commented David Scowsill, the president of the WTTC. He went on to describe the travel industry's success in serving over one billion travellers in 2012 an "astounding milestone."
The UN World Tourism Organisation lists the top five destinations in the world as Paris, London, Antalya, Singapore and New York.