Report: Boom ahead for Russia, Croatia

LONDON -- A report of prospects for tourism in central and eastern Europe recently published by Travel & Tourism Intelligence (TTI) here supports the World Tourism Organization's (WTO) view that Russia and Croatia will be the top benefactors of an anticipated tourism boom in the region over the next 20 years.

The WTO forecasts that Russia can expect to see annual growth of 8.4% over the 2002-2020 period, with Croatia's figures not far behind.

The TTI report highlights many reasons for optimism in these destinations, including the appeal of Moscow and St. Petersburg in Russia and greater stability in the Balkans.

Tourism in Central & Eastern Europe, the TTI report, forecasts that central and eastern Europe will be one of the world's fastest growing regions for international tourism, attracting more than 220 million foreign tourists by 2020.

This compares with 81 million arrivals in 1999, which represents almost 100% growth from 1989 and signifies that, in 20 years time, one in every three tourists to the continent will be headed for a central or eastern European destination.

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