Air traffic disruptions caused by the volcanic ash cloud from Iceland inflicted losses on the European tourism sector worth 2.3 billion dollars (1.7 billion Euros), the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) estimated Friday.
UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai gave the estimate in Madrid, where the body has its headquarters.
As to the losses suffered by airlines, Rifai agreed with the estimates of the International Air Traffic Association (IATA), which put them at about 1.7 billion dollars so far.
About 240 million international tourists fly to European destinations annually, generating earnings worth about 200 billion dollars, according to UNWTO figures. Mr. Rifai made the statements during a forum in Madrid organized by the Tribuna Iberoramericana and the Spanish government news agency Efe.
At the conference WTO Secretary General gave a conference on “Tourism, a key factor in Latinamerica.