The travel industry looks set for further growth around the world in 2016, according to new research from World Travel Market London – the leading global event for the travel industry.
And much of this growth will be fuelled by business deals sealed as a result of WTM London, which will host more than 50,000 senior travel industry professionals this week at ExCeL London (Monday 2 November – Thursday 5 November).
The World Travel Market 2015 Industry Report, released today (Monday 2 November) surveyed 2,050 senior travel professionals around the world, and found that two-thirds (64%) expect the industry to see ‘slight growth’ in 2016, while a further 15% forecast ‘significant growth’.
Just 10% reckoned the industry would see a decline, while 11% predicted the trade would remain steady in 2016.
Their optimism for buoyant bookings in 2016 was reflected in responses to the question: “Compared to WTM London 2014, do you think you’ll sign fewer or more business deals at WTM London 2015?”
Almost a third (30%) said they will sign ‘slightly more’ deals, while 12% forecast ‘significantly more’.
Just under half (48%) predict they will sign about the same.
The positive outlook may be helped by factors such as sports events around the globe, which industry executives in the survey believe are a boost to business.
Almost two-thirds (60%) feel there will be an increase in bookings to Brazil as a result of the country hosting the 2016 Olympics, while 43% say France will welcome more visitors in the wake of the Euro 2016 football tournament.
WTM London, Senior Director, Simon Press, commented: “The report’s findings echo the feedback we are getting from exhibitors, most of whom anticipate they will do more business at WTM 2015 than WTM 2014.
“We estimate that deals worth more than £2.5 billion will be signed from more than 1.1 million on-stand business meetings.
“With about eight out of ten senior industry professionals expecting the industry to grow next year, it bodes very well for a lucrative and productive four days here at ExCeL.”
Major tourism organisations and leading travel groups have also issued positive messages about the state of the industry, despite headwinds such as terrorism attacks and concerns about the eurozone.
The number of international tourist arrivals grew by 4% in the first half of 2015 according to the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer.
Destinations worldwide received 538 million international tourists between January and June 2015, an increase of 21 million year-on-year.
Based on current growth figures, it is estimated that there will 1.8 billion international tourists annually by the year 2030.
UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai said: “These results show that, despite increased volatility, tourism continues to consolidate the positive performance it has had over the last five years and to provide development and economic opportunities worldwide.”
The World Travel & Tourism Council estimates that travel and tourism generated $7.6 trillion (10% of global GDP) in 2014.
The trade is growing at a faster rate than the wider economy and other significant sectors such as the car industry, financial services and health care.
David Scowsill, WTTC President and Chief Executive, commented: “The weakness and potential volatility of many currencies against the US dollar and a deep recession in Russia, a key outbound market, will slow outbound spending in line with slower world trade overall in 2015.
“However, falling oil prices will bring significant improvements for net oil importers in 2015, easing upward pressure on living costs, increasing disposable household incomes and domestic consumer spending, and lowering air fares.”
Furthermore, the Tui Group described summer 2015 trading as “robust” and that it has seen a good start to UK sales for summer 2016.
Thomas Cook Group said it was “encouraged” by strong booking and pricing trends for the winter 2015-16 and summer 2016 seasons.
About World Travel Market London
WTM London, the leading global event for the travel industry, is the must-attend four-day business-to-business exhibition for the worldwide travel and tourism industry.
Almost 51,500 senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international press, embark on ExCeL – London every November to network, negotiate and discover the latest industry opinion and trends at WTM.
WTM London, now in its 36th year, is the event where the travel industry conducts and concludes its deals. WTM 2014 will generate around £2.5 billion of travel industry contracts.
WTM London is part of Reed Travel Exhibition’s World Travel Market events, which also includes Arabian Travel Market, World Travel Market Latin America and World Travel Market Africa. www.wtmworld.com
World Travel Market Events
World Travel Market is comprised of the leading leisure travel events in the world; World Travel Market London, WTM Latin America in Sao Paulo, WTM Africa in Cape Town and Arabian Travel Market in Dubai.
New events for 2016 are WTM connect Asia and WTM connect China, which join WTM connect Ski and International Golf Travel Market. These unique one-to-one events are targeted at leisure and niche travel markets, allowing exhibitors to exclusively meet with elite hosted buyers.
The World Travel Market events are attended by the global travel and tourism industry’s senior executives to conduct business deals and discover the latest research, insight and opinion.
In 2014, the World Travel Market events facilitated around $7 billion in industry deals from negotiations between the more than 15,000 buyers, 9,500 exhibitors (1,500 main stand holders and 8,000 stand sharers) in attendance of its four events.
WTM is part of Reed travel Exhibitions, the leading events organizer in the travel industry, and is owned by the world’s leading events organiser Reed Exhibitions.
Reed Travel Exhibitions
Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE) is the world’s leading provider of exhibitions in the travel and tourism industry. Its wide-ranging portfolio of events around the globe covers leisure travel, luxury travel, meetings, incentives and business travel, as well as golf, ski and spa travel.
RTE, which organises more than 22 events around the world, includes three divisions; World Travel Market, IBTM World and International Luxury Travel Market.
RTE is a business unit of Reed Exhibitions.
About Reed Exhibitions
Reed Exhibitions is the world’s leading events organiser, with over 500 events in 43 countries. In 2014 Reed brought together over seven million event participants from around the world generating billions of dollars in business. Today Reed events are held throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Africa and organised by 41 fully staffed offices. Reed Exhibitions serves 43 industry sectors with trade and consumer events. It is part of the RELX Group plc, a world-leading provider of information solutions for professional customers across industries.