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1 billion tourists travel the world in 2012

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EDITOR’S BLOG. Form around 980 millions last year, we are estimated to become 1 billion tourists this year. It is hard to judge how accurate those estimates are; I remember reading the same headline last year too. But while the western world is burdened by debt, millions are losing their jobs, and oils prices soar, we still travel, even more than before.

“We will have more than a billion tourists, that means one-seventh of humanity. This has never happened in history,” said Taleb Rifai, head of the UN World Tourism Organization Tuesday speaking to tourism ministers from the G20 countries.

International tourism grew by 5.7 percent in the first two months of 2012, the agency said, according to the New York Daily News, surpassing 131 million in January and February, up from 124 million in the same period last year.


There are some negative effects with all this traveling going on. For starters, we use up enormous amounts of airplane fuel, which isn’t good for the environment. Secondly, large inflows of tourists tend to transform the society. Prices increase, everything become more commercial and the uniqueness of the place goes overboard.

But it can be argued that the positive effects are bigger yet. In a time with so much friction and hostility between people, regions and religions, it must always be a good thing to learn about other people, places and cultures. The more travelers that do learn, the better it is.

If you haven’t any travels planned at the moment, you can always start with reading the Traveling Reporter. If nothing else is going on, check out our MapStoryFinder to learn about our destinations. You’ll also find some good stories filed in our PageOne Story Archive.

Comment: What’s good and bad with 1 billion tourists?


The editor of the Traveling Reporter works as a business news editor, and is a frequent traveler. When not doing any of that, he spends time on his boat and tries to figure out where to travel next. Two of his top destinations are the Philippines and San Francisco. Email Erik! Follow the Traveling Reporter at Stumbleupon, Tumblr, Chime In, Pinterest, Google+, Weibo, Storify, Facebook, Traveldudes, Myspace.