International arrivals worldwide are expected to reach nearly 1.6 billion by the year 2020, of which 1.2 billion will be intraregional and 378 million will be long-haul travelers, UNWTO predicts in its Tourism 2020 Vision report on world tourism.
According to Taleb Rifai, secretary general of UNWTO, while long-halu travel globally will grow at 5.4 percent year over year, faster than the 3.8 percent growth rate expected for intraregional travel.
Rifai said, Europe will continue to be the top region for inbound travel with number of arrivals expected to be about 717 million by 2020. East Asia and the Pacific are expected to follow the lead with receiving about 397 million tourists, followed by the Americas (282 million tourists), Africa, the Middle East and South Asia, the report said.
Reportedly, America’s tourism was backed in the last decade during the recession and the H1N1 influenza outbreak that set uncertainties in travel.
The report further forecasts that South Asia will show the most consistent growth in tourism with India leading in inbound travel followed by Iran, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Maldives. India is expected to also lead in outbound travel at 5.7 percent growth every year to receive 6.7 million tourists by 2020.