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MercoPress, Uruguay, July 17, 2008

Uruguay, 2007 Latam tourism receipts growth champ
Panama continues to be the fastest-growing tourism market in Latin America, but Uruguay is the winner when it comes to growth in receipts. Meanwhile, the Dominican Republic is the country with the region's highest receipts as a percentage of GDP, according to a Latin Business Chronicle analysis of new data from the World Tourism Organization.
All in all, Latin America received a record total of 68.6 million international arrivals last year, an increase of 2.9% from 2006. That was lower than the world average of 6.6% and the growth seen in all other regions.

Latin America's tourism receipts, however, grew by 9.7% to a record 58.9 billion US dollars. That means Latin America grew faster than all world regions except Asia. The growth was also higher than the world average of 5.6%.

Although Uruguay was among the losers when it comes to arrival growth - a mere 0.2% to 1.8 million last year - it managed to beat all other in receipts growth, 35% totaling 809 million US dollars. Other markets with strong performance include Argentina 29%; Panama, 23.4%; Peru, 22.9% and Guatemala, 18.4%.

Mexico remains the leading country in the region regarding arrivals and receipts. In 2007, 21.4 million international visitors arrived in the country, up 0.3% over the previous year and receipts increased 5.9% to 12.9 billion US dollars.

Other significant markets both in arrivals and receipts include Brazil, Argentina, Dominica Republic and Chile, according to Latin Business Chronicle.


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