UNWTO survey show tourism up worldwide

A United Nations World Tourism Organization survey released last week shows that despite a lingering recession and increased oil prices in many parts of the world, international tourist arrivals increased 4.5% in the first four months of 2011 from the same period during the previous year.

The largest increases were in South America which was up 17%, South Asia at 14% and Southeast Asia at 10%. The only regions in the world that registered a decrease in tourism was the Middle East with -14% and North Africa with -11% caused by the “Arab Spring” political unrest.

“The sustained optimism shown by the UNWTO Confidence Index is reassuring, especially as we face many fctors which could dampen growth,” Taleb Rifai, UNWTO Secretary General said.