Tourism report predicts more U.S. European visits

United States tourists will gradually start visiting Europe in larger numbers despite the downward revision of the economic outlook in the United States, according to a report released last week by the United Nations agency promoting responsible and sustainable tourism.

The study, prepared by the U.N. World Tourism Organization and the European Travel Commission on U.S. outbound travel and presented at the World Travel Market event in London, points out that “although U.S. travelers to Europe tend to be more financially resilient than many, they are still keen on finding value for money at every turn.”

“Although the industry’s focus has turned towards emerging markets like the BRIC countries we should not forget Europe’s most significant market, the U.S.A.,” said Petra Hedorfer, the European Travel Commission president. The reference was to Brazil, Russia, India and China,

“In 2010, Europe attracted 11 million U.S. citizens, a figure expected to rise in the future. It is therefore our duty to strengthen Europe’s image as an exciting and dynamic destination in spite of economic turmoil and changing consumer interests.”

Taleb Rifai, the world tourism secretary general, said that with $75 billion in expenditure on travel abroad last year, the United States remains the world’s second most important source market for tourists.

“Europe, traditionally one of the preferred destinations for U.S. citizens, should remain well-informed of this market and identify emerging trends.

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