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Tourism Is Key Way To Bring Wealth: UN

Tourism Is Key Way To Bring Wealth From Richest To Poorest Countries – UN

New York, Sep 27 2006 4:00PM

Marking World Tourism Day, the United Nations today highlighted the major role the industry plays in combating poverty in developing countries.

“Tourism is now well recognized as one of the key ways to bring wealth and experience from the richest to the poorest countries,” UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Secretary General Francesco Frangialli said in a message.

The agency released an e-booklet on its website underlining tourism’s multifaceted role in promoting development, from its role as the world’s largest service sector to the part it plays in establishing contacts, recognizing diversity and practicing tolerance.

It notes that tourism is bigger than cars, agriculture or electronics; that it generates $800 billion a year in international tourist spending – a sum that will more than double by 2020; and that it creates millions of jobs, both directly in transport, restaurant lodging and travel firms and indirectly in agriculture, commerce and manufacturing.

Tourism represents 40 per cent of global service trade and 6 per cent of total world trade and over the past decade grew in the poorest 49 countries at six times the rate of Europe.

The 150-member UNWTO, a specialized UN agency, is the leading international organization in the field of tourism, serving as a global forum for tourism policy issues and practical source of tourism know-how.

Ends

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