International tourism is on track to hit one billion tourists by the end of 2012, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization.
According to the organization, the number of international tourists worldwide grew by 5% between January and June 2012 compared to that same time the year prior. And, with a record 467 million tourists having already traveled this year, international arrivals should exceed one billion by the end of 2012.
“Amid the current economic uncertainty, tourism is one of the few economic sectors in the world growing strongly, driving economic progress in developing and developed countries alike and, most importantly, creating much needed jobs,” said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai in a press release.
Though international arrivals were up across all regions, Asia and the Pacific led the pack with an eight percent growth. Africa followed at seven percent, then the Americas at five percent, and Europe at four percent.
Check out a list of the world's fastest-growing tourist destinations below.
#19 Washington, D.C.
15.3% (MARWAN NAAMANI/AFP/Getty Images)
#4 Abu Dhabi
#1 Rio de Janeiro
28.6% growth rate
Jefferson Memorial Washington DC