Tourism in the new "New Economy" - Speech by Taleb Rifai, UNWTO Secretary-General, at the New Economy Forum, 24 March 2014

"The new year greeted us with very encouraging news for the tourism sector.

Despite the lingering challenges of the world economy, affecting namely Europe, despite geopolitical shifts, and even beyond UNWTO’s initial expectations, international tourism grew by a surprising 5% in 2013.

With an additional 52 million tourists travelling the world, the total number of international tourists reached in 2013 a staggering 1,087 million. Meaning, more than one billion people visited another country, either for business or leisure, in 2013.

What is more, much of tourism´s growth last year was boosted by the strong performance of Europe, where international tourist arrivals were up by a solid 5%. In Southern European countries, such as Spain, tourism has been steadily expanding over the years, in spite of the economic constraints in the Eurozone."

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