(Report of the Secretary General on Sustainable Tourism in Challenging Times)

The global economy is undergoing its most severe recession of the post second
world war period with damaging consequences for millions of people, businesses
and jobs worldwide. Advanced economies have been struggling with recession, and
even the emerging economies, which at the beginning seemed to resist better,
rapidly had to face the impact of the economic crisis. The latest economic prospects
indicate that the world economy may have bottomed out and may be starting to
emerge from this unprecedented recession. But experts warn that recovery might be
sluggish. Furthermore, unemployment, which rose fast, will take longer to rebound. .
The International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates that global unemployment
could increase by an additional 29 million (lowest scenario) to 59 million (highest
scenario) unemployed people in 2009 versus 2007.

Tourism, though resisting better than other sectors has not been immune to the
deteriorating economic situation. After a very sound start, with worldwide growth in
international arrivals averaging nearly 6% in the first six months of 2008, demand
fell harshly – by 1% between July and December 2008. As expected, this trend has
intensified in 2009 – international tourist arrivals fell by an estimated 8/9% during the
first six months of this year

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