Baku, August 27 (AZERTAC). According to the April Interim Update of the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, international tourist arrivals are estimated to have increased by 7% in the first two months of 2010. This follows the upturn already registered in the last quarter of 2009 when arrivals grew by 2% after 14 consecutive months of negative results. Though data for March is still limited, countries with data already reported confirm that this positive trend is set to continue.
Growth was positive in all world regions during the first two months of 2010 led by Asia and the Pacific (+10%) and Africa (+7%). Information for the three countries of the Middle East that have reported results so far also point to a strong rebound in the region, though, compared to very subdued first months of 2009. The pace of growth was slower in Europe (+3%) and in the Americas (+3%), the two regions hardest hit by the global crisis and where economic recovery is proving to be comparatively weaker.
A large number of countries around the world reported positive results in the first months of 2010. Of the 77 destinations reporting data for this period, 60 showed positive figures, of which 24 posted double-digit growth including Estonia, Israel, Hong Kong (China), Macao (China), Japan, Taiwan (pr. of China), Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, Guam, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, US Virgin Islands, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Kenya, Seychelles, Morocco, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
Though there is a clear improvement on the negative results of 2009, this growth must be considered with caution as it compares with a particularly weak period of 2009 − the worst months of the global economic crisis. On the whole, international tourist arrivals totalled 119 million during the first two months of 2010, up 7% on 2009 but still 2% below the value of the record year of 2008.
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