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October 06, 2009

Africa shows growth in tourism

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Africa is the only continent to show positive growth in its tourism industry in the first seven months of 2009, according to a recent analysis by the World Tourist Organisation (UNWTO).

An article published by the UNTWO on its website  in October 2009, Increasing Confidence in 2010 Recovery for the Tourism Sector, reports that Africa has shown growth of 4% in its tourism industry. This, according to the article, is due to the positive results of destinations like South Africa, Kenya and Swaziland.

Although the rest of the world’s tourism industry showed a decline from the beginning of the year, all countries show indications of returning to positive growth next year.

“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 Taleb Rifai.

The tourism industry is one of the largest employment sectors in most countries. It is for this reason that the UNTWO will be presenting a “Roadmap for Recovery” at its next General Assembly, highlighting how tourism can be used to tackle the global economic crisis.

“Long-term prospects remain positive if the sector is able to address its challenges in a coordinated and effective manner,” said Rifai. “Today, world leaders are working together in ways that would have been unimaginable at any time in the past, to coordinate and collaborate on economy, climate response and the development agenda.”

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