Short-term tourism data for the first months of 2004 confirm the upward trend already visible at the end of 2003. The latest issue of the World Tourism Barometer, published by the World Tourism Organization (WTO) end of June, showed that the positive economic performance and prospects in the major tourism generating markets indicate that conditions are present for demand to be back on the track to growth.
According to this report, most destinations in the Middle East are looking back on a particular buoyant winter and spring season after an already overall strong 2003. Available data show increases of 10% in Jordan (January-February) and of more than 10% in Dubai (first quarter). In Egypt, the enduring devaluation of the Egyptian pound contributed to the year-to-year growth of over 70% in tourist arrivals up to May.
Meanwhile, in North Africa the alleviation of the geopolitical tension over the war in Iraq and the favourable exchange rates to the euro and the British pound have contributed to improving results. Arrivals to Tunisia grew by 20%, continuing thus the recovery of the last two quarters of 2003. In Morocco, the liberalization of air traffic from February on seems to have already impacted in the performance of the destination that saw arrivals growing by almost 20% over an already positive first quarter of 2003. (menareport.com)
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