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Impacts Of The World Recession And Economic Crisis On Tourism: North America

J. R. Brent Ritchie, Carlos Mario Amaya Molinar, Douglas C. Frechtling

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This article has been prepared as part of the International Academy for the Study of Tourism’s initiative to provide a better understanding of the impact that the economic crisis of 2008-2009 has had, is having, and will have on the well-being and performance of the global tourism industry. More specifically, it seeks to serve as an information “backgrounder” for the North American components of the study. As such, it provides a concise assessment of the current and evolving status of the tourism sector in each of the three countries in North America. Information on Canada was drawn from data provided by Statistics Canada, the country’s centralized government-funded statistical agency, as well as information bulletins issued by the Canadian Tourism Commission. Information on Mexico was drawn from a number of official reports prepared by several government agencies. Information on tourism in the United States was assembled primarily from available data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis from their U.S. Travel and Tourism Satellite Account system. In summary, the present backgrounder reveals that tourism in Canada and the United States has been, and is being, affected by the current economic crisis, and it appears likely that it will be further affected in the near future. In contrast, tourism in Mexico has been affected more directly and to a much greater extent by the swine flu pandemic, exchange rates, and weather conditions than by the economic crisis itself.