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Global tourism spends tip $1 trillion, up 3.8%

According to data by the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), global tourism receipts continued to recover from the losses of crisis year 2009 and hit an estimated $1.03trn worldwide, up from $928bn in 2010. It's the first time that receipts have topped $1trn in a year, the report said. In real terms (adjusted for exchange rate fluctuations and inflation), international tourism receipts grew by 3.8%, while international tourist arrivals increased by 4.6% in 2011 to $982m. "These are encouraging results," said UNWTO secretary general, Taleb Rifai. "This is particularly important news for countries facing fiscal pressure and weak domestic consumption, where international tourism, a key export and a labour intensive activity, is increasingly strategic to balancing external deficits and stimulating employment," he said.