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China, Russia lead in tourist spendings

Published:Monday | August 26, 2013 | 1:56 PM

Janet Silvera, Senior Gleaner Writer



WESTERN BUREAU:

Emerging markets China and Russia led the growth in expenditure on travel abroad among the 10 most important source markets during the first half of 2013, says the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).




China recorded a 31 per cent growth while the figure was up 22 per cent in Russia.



Outside the top 10, Brazil is back with a 15 per cent increase after a more moderate 2012.



Expenditure from traditional markets, on the other hand, was more modest.



Canada, up 3 per cent and France, up 2 per cent led the group, followed by the flat results of the United States, Germany and the United Kingdom, and negative figures from Japan, Australia and Italy.



The data, released over the weekend at the UNWTO 20th General Assembly in Zimbabwe, shows that international tourist arrivals grew by five per cent during the first half of 2013 reaching almost 500 million, compared with the similar period of 2012.



The numbers reflect an additional 25 million international tourists compared with the similar period of 2012.



Growth was stronger in emerging economy destinations than in advanced economies, a trend which has marked the sector for many years now.



“The fact that international tourism grew above expectations confirms that travelling is now part of consumer patterns for an increasing number of people in both emerging and advanced economies,” said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai.



“This underlines the need to rightly place tourism as one of the key pillars of socio-economic development, being a leading contributor to economic growth, exports and jobs.”



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