LONDON, UK – When asked by eTN today at the World Travel Market (WTM) in London, UNWTO’s Secretary General, Taleb Rifai, praised President Obama for supporting tourism despite an uncertain economy. Mr. Rifai sited that among the 10 largest international tourism earners, receipts grew significantly during the first six to nine months of 2012 in Hong Kong (China) (+17%), USA (+ 8%), Germany (+7%), France (+5%), and the UK (+4%).
The Secretary General felt President Obama’s administration understands that every 63 new tourists generates one job.
Tourism is the largest global industry, and the President understands its importance better than any recent president.
Among the top 10 international markets by expenditure on travel abroad, growth was significant during the first six to nine months of 2012 in China (+30%), Russia (+15%), USA (+9%), Canada (+6%), Germany (+5%), and Australia (+4%), as well as in Japan, where a 7% increase confirms the recovery of this important market. Following a decline in recent years, the UK recorded a modest 2% growth in tourism expenditure, while both Italy and France show declines in the level of expenditure of travel abroad.
The UNWTO World Tourism Barometer ( http://mkt.unwto.org/en/barometer ) is a regular publication of UNWTO aimed at monitoring the short-term evolution of tourism and providing the sector with relevant and timely information.
The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is the United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable, and universally-accessible tourism.
As the leading international organization in the field of tourism, UNWTO promotes tourism as a driver of economic growth, inclusive development and environmental sustainability, and offers leadership and support to the sector in advancing knowledge and tourism policies worldwide.