Millennium was worldwide flop

28 January 2000
Millennium was worldwide flop

Millennium Eve was an anti-climax for the tourism industry on a global scale and not just in the UK, according to the World Tourism Organisation (WTO).

The much-hyped millennium bug also failed to have an impact on the industry anywhere in the world.

Statistics published by the organisation show the 657 million international tourist arrivals last year represented a 3.2% rise over 1998. It had expected growth of between 4% and 5%.

It blames the shortfall on the fact that the much-heralded boom in year-end travel for the millennium failed to materialise.

Francesco Frangialli, WTO secretary-general, said: "There was no Y2K bug."

He added: "There was no mass fever to travel to exotic locations for the millennium, nor to attend special parties with outlandish prices."

During the entire 12 months of 1999, tourism in Europe increased at the slowest rate anywhere in the world, going up by just 1% compared to 1998.

The Middle East experienced the fastest regional growth, with tourism levels up 17.5%.

In Africa, the Americas and South Asia tourism increased by 9%, 3.8% and 3.7% respectively.

East Asia and the Pacific bounced back from two years of declining tourism levels, attracting almost five million more tourists than in 1996.

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