Global tourism market maintains healthy growth despite general economy slowdown – UNWTO maintains its forecast for international tourist arrivals in 2011 at between 4% and 5%, slightly above the long-term average. These are conclusions of the latest issue of the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. International tourist arrivals grew by 4.5% in the first four months of 2011, despite economic hurdles emerging since the beginning of the year. Tourism growth was positive in all regions with the exception of the Middle East, embroiled in unrest of the Arab Spring. Some subregions even achieved double-digit growth: South America (+17%), South Asia (+14%) and South-East Asia (+10%).
According to the the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, European queues to museums are still the longest – Europe is leading in tourism growth.
Europe exceeded expectations (+6%) and posted the highest growth in the first four months of 2011.
European Tourism Day 2011 opens today in Brussels on 27th September, on the occasion of World Tourism Day. The conference will discuss how the preservation and promotion of the European industrial heritage may contribute to the diversification of the tourism offer in Europe, and how – at the same time – tourism development strategies may be key alternatives to avoid job-losses and economic depression in abandoned industrial areas.
It will bring together a number of high level speakers, EU Ministers, representatives from the Member States and International Organisations, projects leaders, policy officers, local and regional authorities, universities, tourism operators, specialised press and other stakeholders.