Tourism continues to be one of the strongest industries in the world
People were eager to book holidays last year despite natural, political and financial uncertainty, says online travel retailer, Holiday Hypermarket.
According to the UNWTO's World Tourism Barometer for March, a total of 88 countries reported increases in international tourist arrivals in 2011, with just 15 reporting a decline. This contributed to a worldwide tourism increase of 4.4 per cent on 2010.
Much of the growth was evidenced in Europe, where international arrivals between January and August rose to 671 million, making an increase of 4.5 per cent on previous annual figures.
Calum MacDonald, Online Marketing Manager at Holiday Hypermarket, comments: "Despite economic difficulties in Eurozone countries, the travel industry has not only survived 2011 but international arrivals actually increased. Looking forward to holidays in Turkey or holidays in Cyprus in summer seems to be one of the best ways for people to get through tougher times."
Forecasts for 2012 are modest but promising, with total arrivals estimated to deliver increases of between 3 and 4 per cent. Data taken from 50 countries in January this year indicates growth in 37 countries, of which 42 per cent reported increases in the double digits.
MacDonald continues: "This is an indication that while the world economy is growing and experiencing change, tourism and holidays remain one of the few non-negotiable events on peoples' calendars."