UNWTO World Tourism BarometerUNWTO World Tourism Barometer2008 will clearly go into the history books as a year of turbulence and contrasts. In the 12 months since UNWTO published its January 2008 edition of the World Tourism Barometer, including forecasts for the year ahead, the growth in international tourist arrivals has slowed drastically worldwide, under the influence of an extremely volatile and unfavourable global economy - due to factors such as the credit crunch, the widening financial crisis, commodity and oil price rises, and massive exchange rate fluctuations. All this has, inevitably, undermined both business and consumer confidence, contributing in turn to the current global recession.
The global economic downturn showed a negative impact on international tourist arrivals. Already in the second half of 2008 there was a decrease of 1% in international tourist arrivals when compared to the previous year. Europe and Asia performed worst in the second half of 2008 with a drop of -3% respectively.
When looking at the year 2008 as a whole only Europe showed a decline. All other regions had a positive performance due to the first half of the year. The performance of the Middle East was particularly good with an increase of 11% in tourist arrivals.
The forecast for 2009 is not very promising and international tourist arrivals are expected to stagnate or to develop slightly negative.
For more information please see the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer.(http://www.unwto.org/facts/eng/barometer.htm)
The UNWTO World Tourism Barometer is a regular publication of the Market Intelligence and Promotion Department of UNWTO aimed at monitoring the short-term evolution of tourism and providing the sector with relevant and timely information.