Growth returned to international tourism in the last quarter of 2009 contributing to better than expected full-year results, according to the latest edition of the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. International tourist arrivals fell by an estimated 4 percent in 2009.
Prospects have also improved with arrivals now forecast to grow between 3 percent and 4 percent in 2010. This outlook is confirmed by the remarkable rise of the UNWTO Panel of Experts’ Confidence Index.
2009: LAST QUARTER SEES RETURN TO GROWTH
International tourist arrivals for business, leisure, and other purposes are estimated to have declined worldwide by 4 percent in 2009 to 880 million. This represents a slight improvement on the previous estimate as a result of the 2 percent upswing in the last quarter of 2009. In contrast, international tourist arrivals shrank by 10 percent, 7 percent, and 2 percent in the first three quarters respectively.
Asia and the Pacific and the Middle East led the recovery with growth already turning positive in both regions in the second half of 2009.
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