Financial woos have not slowed the international traveller as worldwide travel reached a new record with up to 440 million arrivals for the first half of 2011.
According to World Travel Organisation (UNWTO) statistics, the 4.5 percent rise on international tourism was lead by the 4.8 percent growth in emerging economies and saw 19 million more passengers take-off this year.
Despite tough economic situations, Europe and the Sub-Saharan Africa saw a six and nine percent rise, while the Middle East and North Africa saw travel drop by 13 and 11 percent.
The Americas also welcomed a six percent increase, while South America shot up by 15 percent for the period compared the first six months last year.
“The sustained growth registered in tourism demand in such challenging times clearly makes the case for the sector and reinforces our call to consider tourism as a priority in national policies,” UNWTO secretary-general Taleb Rifai said.
“Tourism can play a key role in terms of economic growth and development, particularly at a moment when many economies, for the most part in Europe and North America, struggle for recovery and job creation.
“We are very encouraged to see demand picking up in such important tourism destinations and call for continued support to these countries which are today fully ready to receive travellers from all over the world.”Mr Rifai concluded that despite the record breaking growth, tourism needs to “remain cautious”, particularly as “many advanced economies” face slow growth and high unemployment.
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J