World Tourism Down in 2009

  • 15 years ago
  • Uncategorized

The World Tourism Organization (WTO) released its figures for the first quarter of 2009 and, not surprisingly, the numbers are down from last year. Tourism dropped 7.7 percent for the first quarter of 2009 compared to the same period in 2007. For all of 2009, the organization is predicting a drop of 2-3 percent worldwide.


Spain was one of the hardest hit countries in terms of tourism, as there was a drop of 16.3 percent for the quarter. That is substantially more than Europe’s fall of 8.4 percent. If the trend continues, Spain will fall behind the United States in tourism rankings. France is the worldwide leader with some 79 million tourists in 2008, and Spain and the US were tied at 58 million visitors.


If Spain’s slide continues, then the US will move into second, a position it held prior to 2001, and Spain will drop into third. The stronger euro and change in dates for the Semana Santa holiday have affected visits, but the trend has been downward for Spain. British travelers make up a large percentage of visitors to Spain and France, so it will be interesting to see how the year plays out in Europe and globally for tourism.

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