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Global tourism grows 5% over last year through August

Emerging economies lead the way


Europe reported strong tourism growth during the first eight months of 2013.

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — Global tourism continued to grow steadily during the first eight months of 2013, according to the World Tourism Organization, which tallied an increase of 5 percent from January to August 2013 compared to the same period last year.

The best-performing regions were Europe, Asia and the Pacific and the Middle East. For the year to-date, tourist arrivals totaled 747 million worldwide, up 38 million from last year, when global tourist arrivals topped 1 billion for the first time ever.

International arrivals topped 125 million in both July and August, while in June the 100 million arrivals mark was exceeded for the first time. Continue reading

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Global tourism revenues set record in 2012


Tourists from Asia exploring Hallstatt, Austria.

Travel and tourism a key driver in world economy

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — The global tourism economy hummed along at a record pace in 2012, growing by 4 percent and generating a total of $1.3 trillion when international passenger transit revenues are included in the equation.

“It is encouraging to see that the growth in international tourist arrivals was equalled by a comparable increase in spending in spite of continued economic challenges,” said United Nations World Tourism Organization secretary-general Taleb Rifai. “Considering that tourism is a key export for many economies around the world, this result is good news as it provides foreign reserves to destinations, and contributes to job creation in tourism as well as in related economic sectors,” he added.

By regions, the Americas recorded the largest increase in receipts, plus 7 percent, followed by Asia and the Pacific ( plus 6 percent), Africa ( plus 5 percent) and Europe (plus 2 percent). Receipts in the Middle East were down about 2 percent but improving compared to the double-digit decline recorded in 2011. Continue reading

New tourism policy to boost outbound Chinese travel


Tourism destinations around the world could benefit from a new policy encouraging Chinese people to travel.

Government wants to encourage both domestic and foreign travel

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Chinese travelers are already boosting tourism economies around the world, but a new national policy that specifically encourages travel abroad could lead to an increase surge of business at popular destinations, according to the World Tourism Organization.

The Outline for National Tourism and Leisure (2013-2020), issued by the State Council of China, the country´s highest level of government, presents a roadmap for restructuring the current paid leave system across China. Continue reading

Global tourism continues steady growth

Tourists take photos at the Golden Gate Bridge overlook in Marin County, California.

Tourists take photos at the Golden Gate Bridge overlook in Marin County, California. Bob Berwyn photo.

UN officials see tourism as an economic pillar

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Now that the World Tourism Organization has counted every last airline traveler, cruise passenger and backpacker, it’s official — international tourist arrivals grew by 4 percent in 2012 to surpass 1 billion for the first time ever, according to the latest update of the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer.

Emerging economies led the way, showing growth of 4.1 percent, compared to 3.6 percent growth among advanced economies, with Asia and the Pacific showing the strongest results. By region, Asia and the Pacific showed 7.1 percent growth. By sub-region, South-East Asia, North Africa (both at  plus 9 percent) and Central and Eastern Europe (plus 8 percent) topped the rankings.

Tourism officials say they expect growth to continue in 2013 at a slightly slower pace between 3 and 4 percent, continuing the trend from the last quarter of 2012, when demand was stronger than expected. Continue reading

Global tourism revenues hit $1 trillion mark in 2011

2012 starts strong; international tourism arrivals up 5.7 percent over 2011

Tourists gather at a summer music festival at Copper Mountain, Colorado.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Global tourism growth continued to outpace most other economic sectors during the first two months of 2012, with international tourist arrivals up 5.7 percent over the same period in 2011, according to the World Tourism Organization’s World Tourism Barometer.

The WTO also said that international annual tourism revenues passed the $1 trillion mark for the first time in 2011. Overall, 2011 global tourism receipts grew by 3.8 percent from the previous year, along with a 4.6 percent increase in tourism arrivals worldwide.

Tourism revenues continued to recover from the losses suffered in 2009 and hit new records in many destinations, reaching a total of $1.03 trillion. The biggest growth was in the Americans, at 5.7 percent, followed by Europe (5.2 percent), Asia and the Pacific (4.3 percent) and Africa (2.2 percent). Continue reading

Tourism: G20 countries seek to ease visa burdens

Tourism ministers from the G20 countries have agreed to try and ease visa burdens to spur international travel.

Tourism ministers meet, hope to spur more travel to boost economies

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY —Tourism ministers from G20 countries have made a formal declaration that they’ll seek to ease visa burdens to boost international travel and tourism, seen as a way to potentially add 5 million jobs and generate $206 million in tourism revenue by 2015, according to figures from the World Tourism Organization.

The recently adopted declaration encourages G20 countries to leverage new technologies to make travel  “more accessible, convenient and more efficient without a diminution of national security.” It also encourages countries look into increasing cooperation on bilateral, regional and international travel facilitation regimes. Continue reading

African tourism investment urged

Visitation to Africa has nearly doubled in 10 years; tourism seen as contributing to overall prosperity

Traveling along the Niger River in a traditional penasse. PHOTO BY GARRETT PALM. Click on the photo to see more of Palm's travel photos.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Tourism has the potential to be a major factor in contributing to overall economic growth and prosperity in Africa, said UN World Tourism Organization leader Taleb Rifai, speaking recently at the Tourism Investment Forum for Africa in Madrid.

“Africa has been one of the fastest growing tourism regions of the last decade,”Rifai said, urging continued support for tourism efforts. “With the right investment, tourist arrivals will continue to grow, investors will see excellent returns, jobs will be created and the entire economy will benefit.” Continue reading

Tourism continues steady growth in 2011

Governments urged to facilitate travel as an economic driver

Strolling the boardwalk in Saranda, Albania, in a region where tourism showed strong growth.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Global tourism grew by 4.4 percent in 2011 as measured by the number of international arrivals, according to the results of the latest World Tourism Organization tourism barometer released Jan. 16.

Arrivals for the year totaled 980 million, up from 939 million in 2010, and with growth expected to continue in 2012, that number is expected to hit 1 billion for the first time ever in 2012.

“International tourism hit new records in 2011 despite the challenging conditions,” said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai. “For a sector directly responsible for 5 percent of the world’s GDP, 6 percent of total exports and employing one out of every 12 people in advanced and emerging economies alike these results are encouraging, coming as they do at a time in which we urgently need levers to stimulate growth and job creation,” he added. Continue reading

European tourism outperforms expectations

Travel rebound provides some relief for economic woes, with record numbers reported in July


By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Continued economic uncertainty in parts of Europe didn’t hamper the tourism industry, which continues to outperform many other economic sectors. International tourist arrivals to the continent grew by a healthy 6 percent during the first eight months of 2011, according to the latest data from the World Tourism Organization.

Some of the strongest growth came in countries facing major economic challenges, including Greece (up 14 percent), Ireland ( up 13 percent), Portugal ( up 11 percent) and Spain (up 8 percent).

The Northern Hemisphere summer peak season months of July and August showed encouraging results with growth at close to 4 percent over 2010, equal to about 8 million more arrivals. July saw the highest number of international tourist arrivals ever recorded in one month, at 11.8 million. Continue reading

Tourism touted as global economic engine

Tourism can be a key driver of job creation, tourism ministers of developed countries emphasized during a recent summit meeting in Paris.

Tourism can help increase exports, drive economic growth and create jobs, ministers say at Paris summit

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY —Tourism ministers from developed countries meeting in Paris say tourism should be considered a significant economic driver and incorporated into economic development policies by governments around the world — especially in the area of job growth.

The meeting resulted in a declaration calling on members of the G20 to “register the importance and impact of tourism as a topic of discussion in the coming years’ summits” considering the “significant economic and social potential of tourism for the global economy, employment and sustainable development”.

“We need to convince our decision-makers of the importance of tourism to the economy and employment,” said Mr. Frederic Lefebvre, Minister of Tourism of France, opening the meeting. “In these challenging times, we need to maximize our strengths and tourism is one of them,” he added. Continue reading


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