Economic downturn causes steep decline in global tourism

08/5/2009 | Bloomberg Businessweek

The World Tourism Organization reported a decline of more than 8% in the number of international visitors to the top 50 tourist countries in the world in the first quarter of 2009. Experts are predicting a slight increase in tourism during the summer months, but overall, 2009 is expected to be fairly dismal. Unlike previous global tourism downturns, the decline is expected to be "shallow but extremely long-lasting," said Frances Tuke of London's Association of British Travel Agents. "Those of us in the travel industry anticipate 2010 to continue to be painful."

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