Expatica news

World tourism on rebound

25 June 2004

MADRID — The global tourism industry is recovering this year after a record drop in the number of tourists making international trips last year, the World Tourism Organisation said Friday.

“Short-term tourism data for the first months of 2004 confirm the upward trend already visible at the end of 2003,” the Madrid-based organisation said in a statement.

The secretary general of the trade body, Francesco Frangialli, told a press conference that the sector should see growth of five percent this year in the number of international tourists as well as receipts.

That will come as welcome news for the world’s beleaguered tourism industry,which suffered a record 1.2-percent drop last year in the number of tourists making international trips to 694 million people.

The industry was hard hit last year by impact of the war in Iraq, the outbreak of the SARS respiratory disease in Asia and the weak state of the world economy.

“With the (cessation in) the major geopolitical tensions and in spite of uncertainty constant all over the world as proven by the recent terrorist attacks signs are that travel confidence is back,” the organisation said in a statement.

Long-haul trips, particularly from Europe, were beginning to pick up,following a trend already seen for short-haul travel

Destinations in the Asian and Pacific regions, where travel fell sharply last year after the outbreak of SARS, were recovering strongly.

Despite the drop in the number of international trips last year,international tourism grew by USD 40 billion in 2003 to a total USD 514 billion.

“This apparent substantial increase is above all the reflection of the strong depreciation of the US dollar versus many other currencies, in particular the euro,” the statement said.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news