General Travel News

Tourists Visiting Middle East Drop 18%

The World Tourism Organisation (WTO) World Tourism Barometer shows that the number of tourists visiting the Middle East plummeted 18% during the first four months of the year.   The UN group attributes the sharp decrease to a decline in the number of tourists visiting Saudi Arabia.    The UNWTO report said “Globally, tourism fell by eight per cent in the first four months of the year, continuing the trend that emerged in the second half of 2008.” 

The report said only Africa went against the trend of falling tourist numbers with a 5% increase.  Europe and the Middle East were the hardest hit regions with 10% and 18% drops respectively. Asia Pacific had a 6% decline, far below previous growth figures. Oceania fell 4% and South Asia had the sharpest drop at 12%.   Results in the Americas were more mixed but overall tourist numbers fell 5%. 

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