Arab states: Moderate pace of tourism growth
In 2005, international tourism sustained the sharp upturn that began in 2004 in spite of the various tragic events it had to contend. According to preliminary results presented by the United Nations specialized agency, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) the number of international tourist arrivals recorded worldwide grew by 5.5% and exceeded 800 million for the first time ever.
In North Africa growth continued, but at a more moderate pace, with Tunisia recording an increase of 8% between January and November and Morocco 5% for the full year.
Following the very strong performance over the past couple of years, the Middle East seems to have entered a more moderate phase of growth, with the increase for 2005 estimated at 7%. Egypt (+6%), Dubai (United Arab Emirates) (+7% Jan-Sep) and Jordan (+5%) are all close to the regional average, while Bahrain (+11% Jan-Sep), Saudi Arabia (+21% Jan-Jun) and Palestine (+45% Jan-Sep, albeit from a small base) are on their way to exceeding it.
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