UNWTO: ASIAN COUNTRIES LEAD TOURISM RECOVERY

Andrew J. Wein - Jan 31, 2011
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After the disasters of recent times, including the global financial meltdown and swine flu, world tourism is on the road to recovery.  

UNWTO has recently announced that world tourism is recovering from its financial crisis hangover and that the future is looking much rosier. However, the 7% growth in 2010 was far from evenly spread across the planet. Indeed, Asian nations such as China, India, Malaysia led the way, with developed nation of South Korea joining them. The figures relate to inbound and outbound tourism, meaning that the countries are becoming serious forces to be reckoned with on the world tourism market.

According to estimates, China could become the 3rd most important country for tourism this year. The spending patterns of the emerging nations are very important, as Chinese people spent 17% more in 2010 on their travels than in 2009. Russians splashed out 26% more, whereas Brazilians spent an astonishing 52% more.

One of the main reasons for such growth in 2010 was the amount of major events taking place around the world. The World Cup in South Africa, the Shanghai exposition, the Winter Olympics of Vancouver and the Indian Commonwealth games all contributed to the fact that more people traveled. Warnings have been made, however, that such level of growth is unlikely to be reached in 2011 and the progress should slow down. For example, the Asia-Pacific area cannot sustain a growth level of 12.6% like in 2010. Similarly, the Middle East will not probably be capable of growing by 14% yet again.

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