The number of tourists to the Middle East grew by almost 5% to 14.7m during 1997, according to new figures from the World Tourism Organization. The 11% rise in tourism receipts made the region the fastest-growing in the world, although the massacre in the Egyptian city of Luxor last November has had serious repercussions.
The World Travel & Tourism Council, an international organisation of industry leaders, has launched three new schemes as part of a long-term Millennium Vision project designed to generate 100 million jobs across the globe in the next decade. It is carrying out Extended Country Studies to assess tourism potential in individual countries, a Progress Review to see how well countries are doing in a regional context, and starting a Development Fund to help tourism projects in emerging economies.
Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts has renamed two of its Manila hotels. The 703-bedroom Shangri-La Hotel Manila is now called the Makati Shangri-La, and the 658-bedroom Esda Plaza has been re-named the Esda Shangri-La.
The Millennium Hotel Sydney has been voted "Best Value Hotel" in the city - and third best value in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific, by readers of the American Travel & Leisure Magazine.