UN World Tourism Organization Reassures Travel Agents

Francesco Frangialli, secretary-general of the U.N. World Tourism Organization (WTO), told delegates of the United Federation of Travel Agents' Associations that the travel industry will not remain too vulnerable during the current financial crisis, Reuters reports. He said the financial crisis could cut down on travel and leisure spending but people across the globe were still traveling.

"Experience teaches us that tourism is resilient," Frangialli said. "The need to go on trips, to take holidays, is too strong in our post-industrial societies."

Frangialli added that he foresees the financial crisis having less of an effect on tourism than the spread of SARS in 2003, when travel fell significantly. He said he expects nearly 1.1 billion people to travel in 2010, growing slowly from the 6 percent rise in tourism traffic last year.

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