India Among 25 Largest International Tourism Earners: UNWTO

New Delhi: Even as its economy is reeling under inflationary pressures, India -- registering a double-digit growth of 13 percent -- figured among the 25 largest international tourism earners, according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer.

The UNWTO report -- by the United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism -- said international tourist arrivals grew by five percent in the first nine months of 2013, to reach a record 845 million worldwide -- an estimated 41 million more than in the same period of 2012.

The growth was driven by Europe and Asia and the Pacific -- both regions seeing tourist numbers increase by six percent.

“International tourism continues to grow above expectations, supporting economic growth in both advanced and emerging economies and bringing much needed support to job creation, GDP and the balance of payments of many destinations” said UNWTO secretary-general Taleb Rifai.

“It is particularly encouraging to see the strong results in many European destinations, where the tourism sector is, undoubtedly, one of the engines of the economic recovery.”

The positive trend registered in international tourist arrivals is reflected in international tourism receipts reported by destinations worldwide for the first six to 10 months of the year, the report said.

Among the 25 largest international tourism earners, receipts saw double-digit growth in 10 destinations -- Thailand (28 percent), Japan (23 percent), Hong Kong (China) (21 percent), Britain (18 percent), Greece (15 percent), India (13 percent), Turkey (13 percent), Taiwan (PRC) (12 percent), the United States (11 percent) and Macao (China) (10 percent).

UNWTO will announce full 2013 results during its traditional press conference to be held Jan 20 next year.

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Source: IANS