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Mideast tourism down by 6%

Visitor figures were down last year, but UN World Tourism Organisation sees growth in 2010.

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January 20, 2010 8:46 by



The number of tourists visiting the Middle East declined by six percent in 2009, although there could be positive growth this year, according to a report by the UN World Tourism Organisation [UNWTO].

The drop in international visitors to the Middle East was greater than the global decline, which UNWTO estimates at 4 percent.
The global economic crisis and the H1N1 pandemic were behind “one of the toughest years for the tourism sector”, said UNWTO’s Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai.

Middle East tourism is expected to return to positive growth in 2010.

A separate report by the United Nations, issued yesterday, points to a 3.6% economic growth in the Arab world in 2010.



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