CNN Travel reports that more than a billion people traveled outside of their countries’ borders over the past year. This record-breaking number is 20 million more travelers than in 2011.
“This is an astounding milestone,” David Scowsill, president of the World Travel & Tourism Council told Reuters’ Jim Forsyth in a telephone interview. “There is an inexorable growth in the number of people who want to travel around the world.” How massive is the upswing exactly? National Geographic reports that the total is roughly 40 times the amount of recorded travel in 1950.
The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) breaks down the numbers: 55% of travelers were from Europe, 22% were from Asia and the Pacific, 17% were from the Americas, 4% were from the Middle East and 3% were from Africa.
Since it is impossible to pinpoint the exact billionth time someone traversed their country’s limits, the UNWTO surprised British traveler Dale Sheppard-Floyd by naming her the symbolic one billionth traveler when she arrived in Madrid on December 13.
Were you among the billion that traveled this year? Where did you go?