Travel Numbers

Our pals at Gadling wrote about the fall in inbound tourists coming to the US — down 9% as a whole. I wondered how that compared, in this era of recession, with Europe and found that, for one, Britain saw a 20.5% drop in December 2008 compared with a year before.

Meanwhile, the WTO reports a few places actually are seeing a rise in tourism, including Nicaragua, Uruguay (!), Korea, Egypt and Turkey.

Despite the numbers, it’s hard to argue that 2009 is, potentially, the ‘year of the traveler.’ The tourism industry — those who run hotels, book flights, organize tours — are scrambling, as numbers go down. But that means a big price fall for those of us that do hit the road. It’s particularly good for Americans. Travel to Russia is something like 20% cheaper than last year when I was there for Lonely Planet. The British pound has fallen 50% on the US dollar from a year ago, the Euro 20%.

About Robert Reid

Robert Reid is a travel writer (Lonely Planet, New York Times, ESPN), travel expert (Today Show, CNN's Headline News), travel videographer (76-Second Travel Show) and travel artist (don't ask).
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