Global Travel and Tourism Industry growth stronger than expected, sat WTTC at WTM
Thursday 11, November 2010
The global travel and tourism industry has grown at a stronger than expected rate this year, but this will be at the expense of 2011, the World Travel & Tourism Council has forecast.
Latest WTTC figures revealed at WTM show that travel and tourism’s gross domestic product is expected to rise by 2% this year, compared with a forecast in January of only 0.5%. The spurt has led the WTTC to downgrade its 2011 growth forecast from 3.2% to 2.7%.
WTTC president and chairman Jean-Claude Baumgarten said 2010 had been “very good news for everybody”, but Adrian Cooper, managing director of Oxford Economic Forecasting, warned: “Things have been stronger than expected this year, we expect to see the global recovery slowing next year.”
Cooper warned that government austerity measures in countries like Greece and the UK could affect travel and tourism in 2011, together with a desire by consumers to pay down debts.
“We are not expecting to see the growth trend we would normally see in the second year of a global recovery,” he said.
The WTTC has downgraded growth forecasts in all markets, with the biggest fall seen in the Middle East, which is now forecast to grow at 4.1%, one percentage point less than previously assumed. Europe is predicted to grow 1.4%, a change of 0.2 percentage points.
Baumgarten added that the industry would also have to learn to live with yields that were depressed for several years to come.
“Customers are not paying what they paid in 2008 and 2009 and it is going to take a couple of years to get that back.”
He warned that tourism’s fragile recovery would be greatly affected by any adverse measures such as this month’s rise in UK Air Passenger Duty.
“We, all of us, have to give strong messages to our governments not to get too harsh with our industry with their taxes. We are on a crusade against APD.”
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