Global tourism to grow 3-4pc in 2010
Madrid, January 18, 2010
The World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) is predicting global tourism growth of between 3 and 4 per cent in 2010 after a fourth-quarter recovery in 2009, the UN body's secretary general said.
The UNWTO said global tourism fell a less-than-expected 4 percent to 880 million international arrivals in 2009, thanks to a return to growth in the fourth quarter, led by the Asia, Pacific and Middle East regions.
"The global economic crisis aggravated by the uncertainty around the ... (H1N1) pandemic turned 2009 into one of the toughest years for the tourism sector," UNWTO secretary general Taleb Rifai said.
"However, the results of recent months suggest that recovery is underway, and even somewhat earlier and at a stronger pace than initially expected," he added.
Europe, which receives over half the world's tourists, was among the hardest hit in 2009 and is expected to be the slowest to recover this year, Rifai said. - Reuters