World Travel Monitor predicts 4-5% increase in outbound travel in 2014

Posted: February 9, 2014 in travel & tourism

The world travel industry is set to register a robust growth in the present fiscal year even as the future of the global tourism and travel industry is bright, according to the World Travel Trends Report, which also posted a positive outlook for world outbound travel in 2014.

Based on the survey results, IPK forecasts a robust growth of 4 – 5 per cent for the worldwide international travel market in 2014.

Looking further ahead to 2020, IPK predicted that; “modest” growth in the developed world will mainly come from more trips per inhabitant, leading to a higher travel frequency. In contrast, emerging markets will grow fast due to a surge in first-time visitors. The ’new world middle class’ is expected to double by 2030, resulting in 1.5 billion more middle class people eager to travel around the world.

World outbound travel grew solidly in 2013, according to results from IPK International’s World Travel Monitor (WTM) presented at the Pisa forum. Based on the trends of the first eight months the volume of outbound trips will grow by 4 per cent to 947 million in 2013 and the number of overnight stays will also increase by 4 per cent to just over 7.5 billion nights by the year’s end.

The figures represent solid demand despite financial crises, recessions, political turmoil and civil unrest in various parts of the world. Rolf Freitag, president of IPK International, said:”Without a doubt travelling continues to be a global mega-trend. Already today, one-third of the human race is travelling.”

Moreover, this year’s figures maintain the good growth rates seen since 2010. They have led to new record numbers for outbound trips and overnight stays for the last few years.

In a related development, the World Travel Market (WTM) 2013 Industry Report has also predicted an optimistic outlook for the global travel and tourism industry in 2014.

According to the report, the forecast is mainly based on positive turn of events following the global economy’s new recovery from the recent financial downturn.

The report noted that the United States unemployment figures are at their lowest since December 2009, while the United Kingdom’s are at their lowest since February 2009, with Greece, the highest profile bailout by the European Union, predicted it will be out of a six-year long recession in 2014.

“The travel industry is following suit. 2012 was the first year more than one billion (1,035 billion) global trips were taken. 2013 is poised to be even better with the United Nations World Tourism Organization predicting a further 4 per cent increase, as almost 500 million trips were taken in the first half of the year (an increase of 5 per cent),” the report said.

Furthermore the Industry report noted that airline body IATA is predicting a collective profit of $11.7 billion for 2013 compared to $7.4 billion in 2012. The airline industry is predicted to make profits of $16.4 billion in 2014, which would make it the second most profitable year behind 2010’s $19.2 billion

“In addition, nine out of ten senior travel industry executives that the World Travel Market 2013 Industry Report polled are optimistic about the prospects for both their company and the wider industry as a whole in 2014.

“These figures include 39 per cent and 27 per cent who are ’very optimistic’ for their company’s and the industry’s prospects respectively. Seven out of ten say their businesses had seen an increase in demand over the past 12 months,” it read.

The report however, stressed that the travel and tourism industry still faces challenges with half of those polled highlighting the negative impact international and domestic conflicts can have on the industry.

“Taxes were identified by a quarter as the next biggest concern for business. For example, the UK’s Air Passenger Duty (APD) – a tax on outbound flights from the UK – increases again in 2014 (see more on APD in the Aviation Chapter). Visa regulations are highlighted by 16 per cent. Only 4 per cent highlight economic stability and consumer confidence as barriers to growth, which further demonstrates the industry’s optimism and highlights how the global economy has improved.”

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