According to the UNWTO Interim Update presented at 4th UNWTO/PATA Forum on Tourism Trends and Outlook in Guilin, China, the number of international tourist arrivals has grown 7% in the first half of 2010 with a total of 421 million people, an indication of recovery in the tourist industry. Despite events such as the shutdown of European airspace from Iceland's volcanic eruption in April, the months following have shown positive results, leading to a forecast of continued steady growth.
Jordan’s King meets with UNWTO Secretary-General
In the recent meeting between King Abdullah II of Jordan and UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai, the two addressed the role of Jordan’s place in the Middle East’s tourism industry. As Jordan has grown into a top tourist attraction over the years, the King expressed his aim to carry on with improvements in the sector in order to ensure that Jordan retains its leading position within the industry and the region.
While the tourism industry in Thailand, an extremely important part of the Thai economy, suffered losses following the recent turmoil in Bangkok, tourism in Thailand has received a boost from the World Tourism Agency (UNWTO) and the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA). UNWTO and PATA have expressed support for government action taken in Thailand to support its tourism industry. The Thai government has given support to small business owners and entrepreneurs in its tourism sector who suffered losses during the political unrest.
Thailand is slowly working its way back from nearly two months of protests that rocked the nation's capital and surrounding provinces, wreaking havoc on the country's lucrative tourism industry. Red Shirt anti-government protesters flooded the streets of Bangkok hoping to force new elections. What resulted was weeks of violent clashes between the police/military and protesters that left the streets smoky and store fronts looted.
2009 International Tourism Recap:
International tourism in 2009 was down from $942 billion US dollars to US $842 billion globally. To put this in percentage terms, tourism receipts declined internationally by 6%. Arrivals experienced a 4% decline, indicating a correlation between the indicators. Historically, revenues in times of crisis tend to be more effected than arrivals, and 2009 is a good example of this being the case.
The 88th session of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNTWO) General Assembly is scheduled to be held on June 6-8, 2010 in the Puerto Iguazú zone of Argentina, hosted by Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil. The heritage and wealth of these three countries will be one of the subjects explored in the three-day conference.
UNTWO Secretary General, Taleb Rifai advocated an optimistic outlook in combination with innovative transformation for recovery, greener business practices and sustainable growth of the tourist industry in his speech at the 2010 ITB Travel Trade Show in Berlin, Germany. He asked that all regard 2010 and future years ‘not as mere years of recovery, but as years of real transformation.”
UNWTO Welcomes the Outcome of the First T.20 Ministers’ Meeting in South Africa
The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) , an agency of the United Nations which helps promote responsible, sustainable tourism, especially in developing countries, released a statement about the devastating natural disaster that Haiti experienced in January. The UNWTO statement, released in Madrid on 14 January 2010, revealed that the World Tourism Organization stands completely ready to support Haiti in any way possible. The organization expressed its deepest sympathy for Haiti, and sincere sadness at the loss of life that Haiti experienced.
The agenda for the 5th Exceltur tourism leadership forum to be held January 19, 2010 at the Palacio de Congresos in Madrid, was unveiled recently. This represents a combined effort between Exceltur and the UNWTO, or the World Tourism Organization. Held biennially, the conference, will include nine important countries that generate or recieve significant tourist revenue, several government officials, eight of the largest tourism groups, and well-known, highly respected economists.