UNWTO backs international growth figures

The UNWTO Executive Council meeting in
Algiers for its 79th session has welcomed the estimated 4.6% growth of international arrivals in
2006.This market strength is forecast to continue through 2007, at around 4% - the
fourth year of sustained growth in international tourism and in line with UNWTO’s
long-term vision.

UNWTO Secretary-General Francesco Frangialli, particularly underscored Africa’s
strong 2006 forecast, where tourism arrivals are expected to increase by 10.6%
through this year. Frangialli said “This African tourism success story is
particularly important for the fight against poverty and the progress towards the
Millennium Development Goals, where this sector can play a pivotal role for every
State on the continent. Africa’s rich supply of natural assets and unique cultures
provides the whole continent with a special opportunity to grow and prosper in the
coming years. UNWTO has initiated a range of activities to advance Tourism to and
within Africa as an export, a socioeconomic driver and an instrument of
development.”

Sub-Saharan Africa with a forecast 2006 increase of 12.6% is a key driver of the
success. North Africa is also expected to grow well above the world average (+5.9%)
reflecting the steady growth of tourism facilities, infrastructure and quality
services, with significant increases in arrivals and revenues. Algeria is an
excellent example of this buoyancy, growing at 11% during the past five years -
exceeding by far both the regional results and the continent as a whole.

The Executive Council, will review the state of the tourism industry against the
evolving global geopolitical and social dynamics, with an emphasis on tourism’s role
as a key element of trade and development and in the context of the organization’s
role as the specialized agency of the UN family dealing with this important service
sector.

It will consider the major challenges to sustain growth, to manage its impacts
sustainably and to spread its benefits equitably to the world’s poorest countries.
It will look at tourism in trade negotiations, climate change and cultural
understanding

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It will specifically consider the actions initiated by UNWTO to support countries at
a regional and national level to respond to natural and man made crises: to enhance
security while reducing hassle for travellers, to lower barriers to the free flow of
tourism services, to adapt to new internet based technologies and to promote public
private partnerships.
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