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Tourism growth rate to slow in 2011

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Three influential reports into the global tourism industry have predicted that growth in the sector will slow during 2011, following faster than expected recovery during 2010.

Figures in the annual Global Trends Report, compiled by research company Euromonitor, show that the number of arrivals and air passengers for 2010 will finish around 5 per cent higher than 2009 levels.

The report predicts, however, that this growth will slow down going into 2011, mainly due to the overhanging threat of a double-dip recession in leading markets such as the US and the UK.

As a result, Euromonitor expects the total number of international arrivals to grow by less than 2 per cent during 2011.

Meanwhile the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has revised its forecasts for 2010 and 2011.

In it's report on the global travel and tourism economy, it said real GDP growth is expected to rise by 2 per cent this year (up from the 0.5 per cent forecast earlier in the year), creating an extra 946,000 jobs worldwide.

However, expenditure on travel and tourism is still well down on its 2008 peak and WTTC said the pace of recovery in 2011 is likely to be slower than previously forecast.

Western consumers continue to pay down debt and many developed economies move to tighten fiscal policy.

The findings are mirrored by a report from the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).

In its outlook for 2011, UNWTO downgraded its growth estimates for 2011 (from 5-6 per cent to 3-4 per cent) and said that growth in Europe will fall behind the rates achieved by emerging destinations.

The outgoing President & CEO of WTTC, Jean-Claude Baumgarten, said: "The longer-term prospects for travel and tourism remain positive, boosted by rising prosperity in Asia.

"WTTC remains confident travel and tourism will remain a dynamic force for wealth and job creation.

"Over the next ten years, WTTC forecasts that the global travel & tourism economy will grow by 4.3 per cent per year, implying its share of the global economy will rise to just over 10 per cent.

"This will help create an additional 66 million jobs by 2020 - 50 million of which in Asia - acting as a key driver of poverty reduction."

All three reports were published at the World Travel Market, being held in London this week (7-11 November 2010).

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Three influential reports into the global tourism industry have predicted that growth in the sector will slow during 2011, following faster than expected recovery during 2010.
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