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World tourist traffic to cross 1 billion in 2012

Chinese_tourists_in_DisneylandAccording to the latest estimates issued by the UN World Tourism Organization, 2012 will see global tourist traffic exceed 1 billion people for the first time. Last year, there was a 4.4% growth in tourist arrivals worldwide. However, the growth was not evenly spread.


South America experienced over 10% growth as a continent but the South East Asian nations of Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar experienced growth of over 20%. Saudi Arabia with its religious tourism reported a growth of 60% while in stark contrast its Middle Eastern neighbours Egypt, Syria, Tunisia and even Lebanon experienced a decline in tourist arrivals by more than 25%.


At the recently concluded ITB travel trade show in Berlin, the Egyptian Travel Minister was emphatic about the need to project Egypt as a major travel destination. Voicing concern at the 32% decline in arrivals he said that Egypt is aggressively taking part in several trade shows to encourage tourists to visit Egypt.


China and India are being targeted as potential regions of growth as their large middle class have the money to explore the world.

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