Tourist arrivals in the Caribbean held steady at 4% in 2011-UNWTO

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Taleb Rifai

The Caribbean maintained a growth rate in tourist arrivals of 4% in 2011.

This, as International tourist arrivals grew by the just over 4% in 2011 to 980 million, – a year characterised by a stalled global economic recovery, according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer.

With growth expected to continue in 2012, at a somewhat slower rate, international tourist arrivals are on track to reach the milestone one billion mark later this year.

Besides a stalled economic recovery, the UNWTO also pointed to major political changes in the Middle East and North Africa and natural disasters in Japan.

By region, Europe with a 6% increases was the best performer, while by subregion South-America 10% topped the ranking. Contrary to previous years, growth was higher in advanced economies at 5.0% than in emerging ones at only 3.8%, due largely to the strong results in Europe, and the setbacks in the Middle East and North Africa.

UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai said "International tourism hit new records in 2011 despite the challenging conditions." He said "For a sector directly responsible for 5% of the world's GDP, 6% of total exports and employing one out of every 12 people in advanced and emerging economies alike, these results are encouraging, coming as they do at a time in which we urgently need levers to stimulate growth and job creation..

Central America and North America, with a 3% increase, hit the 100 million tourists mark in 2011.

Duration: 1’30″

Filed under Caribbean News.
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