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Opening Keynote

Thursday, February 08, 2007

People are Traveling! - Opening Keynote


The UN World Tourism Organization reports that world tourism registered another record in 2006 with 842 million arrivals, a higher than expected growth rate of 4.5%.

Despite downside risks facing global tourism twelve months ago, in particular terrorism, health scares due to avian flu and rising oil prices, 2006 was another year of good growth above the long-term forecast rate of 4.1 per cent, backed up by one of the longest periods of sustained economic expansion,” Secretary General Francesco Frangialli said.

Three years ago, world tourism, which can play a key role in fighting poverty and become a primary tool for sustainable development, began a historically new phase of growth, as it broke the barrier of 800 million international arrivals. It has grown more than 20 per cent since then.

The increase in international tourist arrivals is projected to be around 4 per cent for 2007, much in line with the forecast long-term annual growth rate of 4.1 per cent through 2020, according to UNWTO’s World Tourism Barometer. Growth is expected to be more solid as businesses, consumers, governments and international institutions are now better able to anticipate shocks and to respond more effectively to crises.

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