World tourism holding up


UNWTO World Tourism Barometer’s first results for 2008 (June edition) indicate that  tourism is not yet in need of life support.
International tourist arrivals grew at around 5 per cent between January and April 2008, compared to the same period of 2007.
UNWTO expects tourism demand to grow, but at a slower pace over the remainder of the year.
The summer season in the northern hemisphere will be critical as it is traditionally the busiest period for international travel.
“The extent of any tourism demand adjustment and its consequences for the sector will depend on how the economy evolves and consumers react, both of which are directly interrelated to oil and food prices,” said UNWTO secretary-general Francesco Frangialli.
A variety of destination countries reported double-digit growth rates in the first three to five months of 2008. Top performers in Asia were China, Japan, Republic of Korea, Macao, Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam, India and Nepal.