WTO reports world tourism up 8% so far

MADRID -- International tourism arrivals grew by 8% during the first four months of the year, according to a report by the World Tourism Organization (WTO), which said the increase was a "positive trend" similar to that of 2004.

The WTOs World Tourism Barometer for June shows tourism arrivals so far this year were "particularly strong for the Middle East (up 17%), Africa (up 12%) and the Americas (up 11%).

"The geopolitical climate, the persistent weak economy and SARS have constrained tourism seriously in previous years and have left a significant amount of pent-up demand in the market," Augusto Huescar, WTO's chief of market intelligence and promotion. "From last year on, we have seen this being released and the data indicate that this process is still in full swing. People are regaining the lust for travel and feel that the moment is appropriate to make the trips they postponed in the past years."

To contact the reporter who wrote this article, send e-mail to Michael Milligan at [email protected].

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