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WTO Predicts Strong Year for International Tourism

October 4, 2005

WTO Predicts Strong Year for International Tourism
October 4, 2005 – The World Tourism Organizations says that 2005 will be another strong year for international tourism. An estimated 460 million international tourist arrivals were recorded worldwide in the first seven months of 2005. This represents an increase of some 25 million arrivals compared with the respective period of 2004, according to the preliminary data gathered for the new issue of the WTO World Tourism Barometer.

According to the report, leisure tourism has outperformed business tourism. This is attributed to the increasing availability of low fares for short-haul travel and by pent-up demand still being released for long-haul destinations. Anecdotal evidence points to a recovery in demand for business tourism, including the meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions sector. Cruise tourism has also recorded above-average growth this year so far.

WTO points out that the travel industry has once again proved how resilient it is to shocks. Many events and developments have combined to potentially undermine tourist confidence, but it is evident that travelers have been undeterred by external threats. At the global level the impact of such shocks has been negligible. They may have led to temporary shifts in travel flows, but they have not stopped people traveling. At the local level, the impact can be severe in the affected areas, but in most cases this is surprisingly short-lived.

The organization says that it is too early to assess the likely impact of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, which occurred only last month. "It will certainly take time to get New Orleans–one of the United States’ top leisure tourism and convention destinations–back on the map. The cruise industry’s capacity has also been temporarily reduced, as the US Government decided to charter various ships to house emergency services personnel following the hurricane," the release stated.

The WTO World Tourism Barometer is a periodical publication for WTO Members prepared by the Market Intelligence and Promotion Department of the World Tourism Organization. It is published three times a year (January, June and October) in electronic format and in hardcopy in English, French and Spanish. For more information visit

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