International Tourism Down by 8% - UN Report


The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Thursday said international tourism has decreased by 8% for the first four months of 2009 year-on-year. UNWTO blames the decline to the global financial crisis and the swine flu outbreak. It predicts tourism will decline by 4% to 6% in 2009, but decline's pace should slow throughout the rest of the year. In the first four months of 2009, 247 million traveled abroad, compared to 269 million in 2008. All continents suffered a decrease except Africa, which recorded a 3% increase on the strength of the Mediterranean region and Kenya's recovery as a popular destination. Europe had the highest decline at 10 %, followed by Asia and the Pacific at 6% and the Americas at 5%. The South American sub-region posted a slight increase of 0,2%.