NEW YORK -- The European Travel Commission revised its forecast for
U.S. arrivals this year, citing the slowing U.S. economy and
hoof-and-mouth disease's impact on travel to Great Britain.
The ETC now is projecting that U.S. traffic will rise 2% this
year over 2000, compared with 4% growth for the year that had been
forecast in the spring.
The British Tourist Authority expects a downturn in U.S.
visitors of between 10% and 20%. Last year, the U.K. accounted for
about 30% of U.S. travel to Europe.
However, strong U.S. traffic increases of more than 5% are being
reported by the tourist boards of France, Spain, Italy and
Switzerland, an ETC spokesman said.
"Overall, we still project growth," said Einar Gustavsson, ETC
"Prices are very attractive, thanks to the strong dollar and
reasonable air fares. But if the [U.S.] economy does not bounce
upward soon, we will have to work harder to maintain traffic
through this fall," he said.