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Record number of tourists

January 28, 2015

The number of international tourists rose by 4.7 percent to reach a record of 1.14 billion last year, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) said in Madrid.

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Image: Fotolia/Petro Feketa

Tourism is growing faster than other economic sectors. The industry's increase has been above the average economic growth for five years in a row. A further growth of up to 4 percent is expected this year.

"Over the past years, tourism has proven to be a surprisingly strong and resilient economic activity," said Taled Rifai, the World Tourism Organization's secretary general. "It is a fundamental contributor to the economic recovery by generating billions of dollars in exports and creating millions of jobs."

According to the UNWTO, the number of international tourists particularly increased in North and South America, rising by 7 percent. Asia and the Pacific registered a growth of 5 percent. Receiving 588 million tourists in 2014, Europe consolidated its position as the most visited region in the world.

Germany had a beyond average performance as a holiday destination.

"Inbound tourism continues to develop so dynamically that, according to the available numbers, we have reached for the fifth year in a row a new record in 2014," said Petra Hedorfer of the German tourism marketing organization Deutsche Zentrale für Tourismus. "Growth in Germany's inbound tourism is stronger than the average calculated by the UNWTO for Europe, which is 3.9 percent."

UNWTO statistics included all tourists who spend at least one night in a foreign country.

at / ak (dpa, DZT)