Travel Industry bosses predict more business will be done in 2018 - Insights

Travel Industry bosses predict more business will be done in 2018

travel growthMuch of this growth will be fuelled by business deals sealed as a result of WTM London, which will host more than 51,500 senior travel industry professionals this week at ExCeL London (6-8 November).

The World Travel Market London 2017 Industry Report, released today (6 November) found that three quarters (74%) of the travel delegates asked expect the industry to grow, with 56% hoping for Ôslight growth’ and 18% expecting significant growth.

Out of the 1,622 responses, only 1% of the extremely optimistic audience predicted a decline and 14% predicted the trade would remain steady in 2018.

This positivity was also reflected in the amount of bookings their company or organisation plans to achieve in 2018, with almost 80% predicting an increase in 2018. This compares to last year when the same question was asked, with only 67% expecting an increase in 2017 bookings. A sure sign that the industry is on the up.

WTM London will be responsible for generating around £3 billion of travel industry contracts, with Italy (54%) and Greece (35%) identified as the top countries to do business with at WTM London.

WTM London’s Paul Nelson, commented:

ÒThe report’s findings echo the feedback we are getting from exhibitors, most of whom anticipate they will do more business at WTM London 2017 than WTM London 2016.”

ÒWe estimate that deals worth around £3 billion will be signed from almost one million on-stand business meetings.”

ÒWith about eight out of ten senior industry professionals expecting the industry to grow next year, it bodes very well for a lucrative and productive three days here at ExCeL.Ó

Major tourism organisations and leading travel groups have also issued positive messages about the state of the industry, despite headwinds such as terrorist attacks and concerns about the eurozone.

According to the 2018 Global Travel Forecast, travel prices are expected to rise sharply in the coming year, reaching nearly 4% increases in some sectors. Released this summer, the fourth annual forecast, by the GBTA Foundation in partnership with Carlson Wagonlit Travel, and with the support of the Carlson Family Foundation, shows global airfares are expected to rise 3.5% in 2018; hotel prices are expected to be 3.7% higher; and ground transportation such as taxis, trains and buses are expected to rise only 0.6% Ð significantly less than the 3% inflation forecast for 2018.

ÒThe higher pricing is a reflection of the stronger economy and growing demand,Ó said Kurt Ekert, president and CEO, Carlson Wagonlit Travel. ÒThe global numbers from this forecast should be considered strong leading indicators of what 2018 will mean for global businesses, as we anticipate higher spending.Ó

The World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has reported that International tourist arrivals worldwide grew by 6% in January-April of 2017 compared to the same period last year, with business confidence reaching its highest levels in a decade. Sustained growth in most major destinations and a steady rebound in others drove results. Prospects for May-August 2017 remain high.

David Scowsill, former World Travel and Tourism Council President and Chief Executive, commented ÒFor the sixth successive year, growth in the sector outpaced that of the global economy. The outlook for business and leisure travel in 2017 remains robust. Over the longer term, the growth of the travel and tourism sector will continue to be strong, as long as governments continue to invest in the necessary infrastructure.Ó

Furthermore, the Tui Group is predicting a 10% growth in profits for the full year, despite the impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

They’ve suggested that overall performance is positive, with revenues booked to date up 7% and customer volumes up 3%. They’ve experienced good growth in bookings for Cape Verde, Cyprus, North Africa and Thailand, although they are seeing some impact on demand for some parts of the Caribbean and Florida as a result of the recent hurricanes.

In the UK, booking and selling price performance are in line with Tui’s expectations, given the very strong start in prior year trading (when bookings were up 22%) and impact of currency inflation on selling price.

Chief executive of Tui Group, Fritz Joussen, said:

ÒAs we near the end of the third financial year post-merger, our results and trading performance show that we are consistently delivering our growth strategy.”

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