US Recession May Imperil Global Tourism

UN body predicts slower international travel growth in 2008
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 29, 2008 6:12 PM CST
Visitors watch while workers pressure wash the granite faces of George Washington, left, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln at Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota in...   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – The number of international tourists could decrease this year if the US falls into a deep recession, but the UN is "cautiously optimistic" that 2008 will be the fifth straight year of growth, Reuters reports. After 2007's record 898 million tourist trips, a 6.2% jump over 2006, the World Tourism Organization projects continued but slower growth in 2008.

With 46 million tourist arrivals, the Middle East had 2007's largest growth, AFP reports. The region "continues to be one of the tourism success stories of the decade so far, despite ongoing tensions and threats," the WTO said. Europe was the most popular destination region and France the most popular country, but the US was tops in tourist receipts.