MANILA, Philippines -- The time frame for a modest Asian tourism
and economic recovery is about two years, David J. de Villiers,
deputy secretary-general for the World Tourism Organization, told
delegates to the PATA conference here.
The official of the Madrid, Spain-based organization predicted
the economic situation would be a "two-year blip" and said that a
resumption of strong tourism growth rates in the region would be
seen between the years 2000 and 2010.
Tourism arrivals slumped in 1997, when the number of visitors to
Hong Kong fell 11.1% and international tourism receipts dropped by
14.7%. In South Korea, tourism receipts dropped by 4.2%, and by
1.9% in Malaysia.
The Asia-Pacific region had been enjoying double-digit growth
rates for more than a decade, according to the WTO.