Complex Made Simple

Middle East behind in 2012 tourism growth

According to data by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the Middle East region has recorded a 1% increase in international tourist arrivals in the first four months of 2012 over the same period last year, Saudi Gazette has reported. The increase, which came despite continuing economic uncertainties in some of the major outbound markets, remains below the global growth of 5%, the report said. In the Mena region, Egypt - badly hit last year by political turmoil - was the star performer in the first four months of this year with 28% growth, compared with the same period last year. "It is very encouraging to see demand returning to countries such as Japan, Egypt and Tunisia," said UNWTO secretary-general, Taleb Rifai.