WTTC forecasts subdued growth for 2010

Wednesday 17, March 2010


WTTC forecasts subdued growth for 2010


Travel and Tourism is one of the world's most important sectors and employers and has been one of the leading growth sectors since the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) first started measuring Travel & Tourism's economic impact 20 years ago.



"But, as was the case with other sectors, it was hit hard by the credit and housing market collapses last year that triggered the deepest recession since the Great Depression," said Jean-Claude Baumgarten, WTTC's President & CEO, launching the Council's annual research results at ITB Berlin today.


World GDP fell by 2.1% in real terms, with developed economies - a major source of demand for Travel & Tourism - the most severely affected. Households curtailed leisure travel plans, substituting lower-cost short-haul and domestic travel for more expensive long-haul trips, and corporations reduced business travel budgets.


"Within the Travel & Tourism sector itself, investment plans were shelved or delayed," Baumgarten said, "even in some previously dynamic, expanding destinations. Finally, the A(H1N1) influenza pandemic instilled a fear of travel in many markets, at least until the less virulent nature of the disease was recognised, and government immunisation programmes got underway."


As a result - and despite the resilience of some, notably Asian, emerging economies - activity and employment contracted across the sector. Global Travel & Tourism Economy GDP declined by 4.8% in 2009 and this caused the loss of almost 5 million jobs - or 5.6 million since 2008. All regions experienced significant contractions in visitor arrivals, spending and Travel & Tourism Economy GDP, and Travel & Tourism investment declined by over 12%. Only residents' spending on domestic trips increased, and that was by a mere 0.7% in real terms.


235 million employed in Travel & Tourism worldwide, despite the downturn

Nevertheless, even in such a depressed year for activity as 2009, Travel & Tourism still employed over 235 million people across the world - 8.2% of all employment - and generated 9.4% of world GDP.


The global economy has now moved into a recovery phase, although the pick-up in developed economies is expected to be gradual as households, corporations and governments all battle to rebuild their balance sheets.


"Despite recent encouraging short-term indicators of tourism activity, the recovery in world Travel & Tourism is expected to be muted," Baumgarten warned, "with both firms and households examining travel plans carefully and continuing to limit expenditure. Spending in real terms is expected to increase by a mere 1% - while business travel spending will again decline, by nearly 2%.


The recovery should gain momentum through 2010 and 2011

Given current credit conditions and delays in restarting large projects, Travel & Tourism Investment is also expected to decrease for the second consecutive year, by 1.7%. Thus, Travel & Tourism Economy GDP is forecast to grow by just 0.5% in 2010 overall. But stronger second-half momentum will continue into 2011 to boost growth next year to 3.2%.


In the longer run, Travel & Tourism will sustain its leading role in driving global growth, creating jobs and alleviating poverty. Emerging economies, in particular, are expected to be engines of growth, boosting international travel - with China alone set to provide almost 95 million visitors for other destinations by 2020 - and also generating an increasingly vibrant domestic travel sector.


"But developed economies will continue to dominate global Travel & Tourism for the foreseeable future," Baumgarten noted. While many are mature markets reaching a ceiling in terms of propensity to travel, a growing preference for, and priority focus on, leisure is expected to provide clients for new destinations once consumers fully regain confidence.


"The popularity of short breaks - both domestic and international - will continue to increase. And innovation by the Travel & Tourism industry will create new products and markets," he said.


Overall, the Travel & Tourism Economy is forecast to grow by 4.4% per annum in real terms between 2010 and 2020, supporting over 300 million jobs by 2020 - ie 9.2% of all jobs and 9.6% of global GDP. This confirms that Travel & Tourism will continue to grow in importance as one of the world's highest-priority sectors and employers.




Bookmark and Share


^ back to top


Find the best deals available today


London 2012 makes most of learning opportunities in Vancouver 2010

As the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games draw to a close, London 2012 organisers have been taking advantage of the final opportunity to experience and learn from an Olympic Games, before London becomes the next Olympic Host City.


Next Winter Olympic Games: Sochi, Russia

As the 21st Winter Olympic Games wind down in Vancouver, my thoughts naturally turn to the 22nd Winter Olympic Games scheduled for February 7 through 23, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. 2014 will mark the first time that Russia will host the Winter Games – Moscow hosted the Summer Games in 1980.


Business Travel

An Advantage, Not A Luxury: Business Jet Bookings set to rise in 2010

Even in these difficult economic times, companies are still seeing value in business aviation and are looking to increase business jet travel in 2010.

Latest offers, discounts and more...

Accor “3=2 offer”
Why not extend your stay? 3 nights for the price of 2.
Columbus Direct travel insurance
Quality cover at low prices to customers all around the world.
Priority pass
Access VIP lounges no matter where which airline and class you fly.
European City Cards
See more and pay less! Get your "passport" to European cities.
Rail Europe
Comfortable and affordable on European trains.
Lonely Planet Magazine
Packed with insider knowledge, hints and tips.
Sandemans New Europe City Tours
Free walking tours in 13 cities within 9 countries.
Sol Melia Wednesdays
Search your exclusive special offers now for the coming weekend!
Low-cost shuttle and private transfers in over 70 countries.
IMEX Frankfurt 25-27 May
The essential worldwide exhibition for incentive travel, meetings and events.
Subscribe to Travelio News Summary via RSS Follow our news titles on Twitter Become a fan of on Facebook Bookmark and Share