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World tourist numbers surpassed 1 billion in 2012: UN body

Global tourist arrivals edge above one billion for the first time in 2012; Egyptian tourist numbers down due to continuing political turmoil

AFP, Ahram Online, Tuesday 29 Jan 2013
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International tourist arrivals surpassed one billion for the first time last year, with the Asia-Pacific region posting the biggest increase in foreign visitors, and numbers will rise further in 2013, a UN body said Tuesday.

The number of international tourist arrivals grew by 4.0 per cent to 1.035 billion in 2012, up from 996 million in 2011, the Madrid-based United Nations World Tourism Organisation said in an annual survey.

With about 11.5 million visitors in 2012, Egyptian tourist figures represent just a fraction of global travel activity. The sector was booming in 2010, seeing 14 million visitors and was expected to grow further. The popular uprising in 2011 and the turmoil that followed, however, put the sector on hold driving the number of visitors and the size of investments down.

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