According to the latest World Tourism Barometer from the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), all regions saw growth, except the Middle East.
Between January-April 2011, destinations worldwide recorded 268m international tourist arrivals, up by 12m on the same period last year.
Europe exceeded expectations (up 6%) and posted the highest growth in the first four months of 2011.
Results reflect a delayed recovery in various European destinations and source markets, the late Easter holiday and the compensation for the negative month of April 2010, affected by the volcanic ash cloud.
Taleb Rifai, UNWTO secretary-general, said: ‘Global tourism continues to consolidate the recovery of 2010 despite the impact of recent developments in the Middle East and North Africa, as well as the tragic events in Japan, which are temporarily affecting travel flows to these regions.
‘We should nonetheless remain vigilant as we face other persisting uncertainties such as high unemployment and increased public austerity measures.'
Short-term prospects remain largely favourable, according to the UNWTO Confidence Index from the UNWTO Panel of Experts.
Despite problems in some destinations, more than 350 experts worldwide maintain a positive outlook for the period May-August, with those in the Americas and Europe anticipating the best outcomes.
UNWTO has also released its Tourism Highlights report for 2010, which shows that China overtook the UK in the top ten ranking of international tourism spenders.
China ($55bn) moved up into third position, overtaking the UK ($49bn).
Tourism recovery in Europe was slower than in other regions in 2010, mainly due to the economic uncertainty affecting the region and the ash disruption to airspace in April.
France, the world's top destination, saw zero growth in its international tourist arrivals figure of 78.6m while the UK dipped 0.2% from 28.2m in 2009 to 28.1m in 2010.
For the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, click here.
To see the UNWTO Tourism Highlights, 2011 edition, click here.