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Discover to travel…
The ever changing tourist landscape�.

Traveling and exploration has always been a fantastic blueprint of entertainment and leisure. Moreover, it has innumerable contributions to the world history. Perhaps, this is what led Columbus to discover America, and Vasco da Gama to discover India, for the world.

Over the last decades, France, Spain, United Kingdom, United States of America have been the most fancied tourist destinations. But of late there seems to be a change in the trend, whereby Singapore, Malaysia, China, Dubai are gradually replacing them.

According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), first four months of 2007, worldwide tourism rose by 6%, totaling 252 million and an addition of 15 million as against the same period in 2006. The same report states that South Asia stands out as the best tourist spot with 12% growth. Africa and Middle East are following with 8% growth. Though, European nations and America attract massive tourists but, on an average there growth has been lesser than the world average growth. UNWTO estimation prophesised that China will be �top tourism spot ranker� overtaking France by 2020. From just 300,000 in 1978 the country succeeded to attract 120.29 million tourists (20.26 million foreign and 100.03 million from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan) in 2005.

In the same manner the world can�t undervalue the gallantry of the small island, Singapore, attracting 9.7 million visitors in 2006, growing at 9% annually. UNWTO has lauded Dubai for achieving highest growth of 31%; in 2002, the single city attracted 6.5 million tourists in 2006. Surprisingly, Thailand, a poverty stricken Asian country attracted 11.7 million in 2004, according to the latest available data by UNWTO.

The changing trends are on account of multiple reasons. These economies have left no stone unturned to attract tourists from all over the world. Moreover cheap medicare facilities, low cost airlines, encouraging economic performance of poor and developing countries have been the other drivers of the tourism industry, along with driving other innovative tourism drivers sports tourism, religious tourism and similar.

Akram Hoque

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