UNWTO Working Towards a Brighter Future for Travel

Travel professionals may be able to start to breathe again, but hesitantly, as the UNWTO reported Friday that the conditions of the tourism market are starting to indicate a recovery for 2010.

These results are based on macroeconomic upward revisions from the IMF combined with preliminary international tourism figures until August this year. The report also shows that international arrivals declined by only 4 percent in July, which is an improvement compared to the 10 percent decline in May and 7 percent decline in June. Other global destinations are showing similar trends.

“As the latest economic data and prospects indicate that the world economy may be starting to emerge from its most severe recession of the post second world war period, in tourism too there are signs that confidence is returning and that demand is improving for both business and leisure travel” said UNWTO Secretary-General a.i. Taleb  Rifai.

But in the short term, the global economy as well as fears still lingering over the H1N1 virus are expected to continue impacting tourism. As decline rates are expected to ease during the rest of 2009, international travel is predicted to decrease within a range of -6 percent and -4 percent this year.

On the domestic side, the market is expected to do comparatively better. Even so, this will not be enough to compensate for the losses in international markets. People are sticking with their "staycations."

After a G20 Summmit in Pittsburgh, world leaders concluded it was still too early to completely let down the guard. In the meantime, travel and tourism can work to support short-term stimulus actions by creating and sustaining jobs and support long-term transformation to a Green Economy.

“Long- term prospects remain positive if the sector is able to address its challenges in a coordinated and effective manner,” said Secretary-General a.i. Taleb Rifai.

UNWTO is presenting a Roadmap for Recovery, which can be viewed at www.unwto.org.