In spite of economic insecurity global tourism posts stable growth – UN

Notwithstanding global economic uncertainties, international tourism grew 5 per cent during the first four months of this year, compared to the same period in 2007, the United Nations World Tourism Organization (WTO) announced today.While prospects for global tourism remain positive, the agency expects demand to continue growing, albeit at a slower pace due to the declining global economic forecast for the rest of 2008.Fluctuation in tourism demand will be contingent on “how the economy evolves and consumers react, both of which are directly interrelated to oil and food prices,” said UNWTO Secretary-General Francesco Frangialli.The northern hemisphere’s summer season, traditionally the busiest period of the year, will be followed closely.All of the world’s subregions posted growth between January and April 2008, with the Middle East, North-East and South Asia and Central and South America seeing the strongest results.In the same period, countries such as China, Japan, Indonesia, Cuba, Jamaica, Sweden, Bulgaria, Israel, Turkey, Egypt and Morocco witnessed double-digit growth rates. 3 July 2008Notwithstanding global economic uncertainties, international tourism grew 5 per cent during the first four months of this year, compared to the same period in 2007, the United Nations World Tourism Organization (WTO) announced today. read more