A little bit of technical data. In the last year (2010, that is), tourists traveling all over the world spent $919 billion american dollars. It's clear that after the recession that hit the world, people are beginning to be more comfortable in spending a little more money in traveling once again. After that long and painfull recession, I think it was a little bit predictible that countries that are "emerging" or in process of "developing" would be the ones that would benefit the most. As is clear in times of recovery, people begin to spend more, but they're cautious and spend their money in cheaper things. In the last report of the World Tourism Organization Barometer (first two months of 2011), wich they release several times a year and list, between other things, international arrivals and tourism expenditure, we could see that sub regions like South America or South Asia were the ones that had a bigger increase in the number of international travelers arriving in their countries, with a growth of 15% for both of them. Of course!! It's cheaper to go there than to go to, let's say, Europe or USA. That's what I mean when I say people are beginning to travel again, but to cheaper places. Nonetheless, Europe kept a growth of 6%, pretty good for the most developed touristic region in the world. A little bit more than half of the world tourists go to Europe.
Sadly for our friends in the Middle East and North Africa, people didn't visit their countries a lot and they had a negative number of -10% and -9% respectively. Cheers for the guys in Subsaharian Africa and Central & Eastern Europe!! They recieved more travelers by 13% and 12% respectively. I'm pretty sure that people in charge of governments in those places are now understanding the importance of toursim to the economy.
And another really interesting thing that just happened is that China beat Spain in number of travelers visiting their country. Can you believe it? It's amazing how fast they have grown in so little time! I mean, Spain isn't some weak kitten to be beaten, if you know what I mean. Of course, France and USA are still the two most visited countries in the world, but they should be aware that the awaken dragon is coming.
And now, just so you know, international travelers in january and february of 2011 were 124 million! when in the same months last year they were 118.5 million. Were you one of them?
And just to finish, have you ever seen those huge quantities of money being spent worldwide and said "hey, if only I could get a tiny bit of that"? That goes to you tourism entrepreneurs!! You CAN get a share of that. You have that good idea, now it's just a matter of materializing it and beginning to have your little bit of green Benjamins!!
Here, a link if you want a closer look of the Barometer: