The cruise industry is one of the fastest growing segments of tourism. Although, cruise tourism is a recent development in Asia and the Pacific as compared to the traditional destinations in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, it has been growing at double-digit rates fuelled by the increasing demand from the North-East Asia markets, namely from China.
The WTO originated as the International Congress of Official Tourist Traffic Associations, which was set up in 1925. It went through several transformations over the years and was officially converted into a specialized agency of the United Nations in 2003. The organization is the most significant global body concerned with the collection and collation of statistical information on international tourism and it serves as a global forum for tourism policy issues and practical tourism know-how. In 2006 it was comprised of 150 countries, seven territories and more than 300 Affiliated Members representing the private sector, educational institutions, tourism associations and local tourism authorities.