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World tourist numbers pass one-billion mark: UN body

Published on Dec 13, 2012 6:15 AM

MADRID (AFP) - The number of tourists in the world this year will pass the one-billion mark despite the economic crisis, the head of the World Tourism Organisation said Wednesday.

"The need to travel is defying economic difficulties," the Madrid-based UN body's Secretary General Taleb Rifai told AFP.

The number of people making tourist trips in 2012 is set to record a rise of three per cent compared to 2011 in recession-bound Europe, seven per cent in Asia and four per cent worldwide, he said.

"When you have one billion international travellers, it's one out of six people of the world that cross borders," he said.

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