Episode 4 – UK Travel Market: What to expect in 2019

Episode 4 – UK Travel Market: What to expect in 2019


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On this episode, direct from WTM London, five industry leaders from Euromonitor International, TUI, Easyjet, Travel Counsellors and Hilton discuss what we can expect for 2019 including consumer confidence, which destinations are doing well and why, the relationships with overseas partners both for outbound and inbound, currency values and of course Brexit. Hosted by Ben Ross Deputy Travel Editor of the Telegraph with:

• Caroline Bremner, Head of Travel Research Euromonitor International

• Andrew Flintham, Managing Director TUI UK & Ireland

• Chris Browne OBE, Chief Operating Officer, easyJet

• Steve Byrne, Chief Executive Officer, Travel Counsellors

• Steve Cassidy, Senior Vice President & Managing Director UK & Ireland, Hilton

On this episode we cover:

Caroline Bremner, Head of Travel Research:

  • World travel and tourism arrivals – a record year of 7% growth last year 1.4 billion people travelling in 2019
  • Additional 1 billion in 2030 – growth driven by Asia
  • Average spending from trip slowly coming down over last two decades Issue of over tourism

-A shift towards value driven low impact tourism

  • Leading destinations worldwide – still France.

-By 2030 – China will take over as most popular leading source markets

– China a leader in future outbound tourism plus USA, UK and more Regional performance in inbound receipts

– Asia strongest performing but Africa and Middle East have huge potential

  • Recovery in Egypt, Turkey and Tunisia North American outperforming the economy in that region China, Thailand, US, Hong Kong and France – strong increased in demand

-Weaker growth in Denmark and some Caribbean nations

-Europe – impacted by terrorism as Egypt and Turkey but now on the rebound UK has performed very well considering challenges of terrorism

-Consumer confidence index – not ideal Brexit scenarios

– travel forecast model Inbound market: Most probable outcome is that there will be a delayed free trade agreement

-If we continue to have access to Open Skies expect 39 million arrivals rising to 49 million in 2030

-A no deal Brexit would have a good impact on arrivals as the pound would diminish by 10%

  • The pound is depreciating overall Outbound market: 85 million arrivals to 110 by 2030

-No deal Brexit worst outcome for UK consumers Spain hit of 2 billion pounds, US, France, Portugal all taking hit in no deal Brexit

-Ageing population will bring more challenges

-Young people will have less money than parents – opposite in Asia Growing inequality in the UK

-Bottom heavy income levels means the industry will suffer as a whole due to price competitiveness

  • The panel discuss their respective performances over 2018, preparations for Brexit and beyond including:

-Easyjet’s stellar performance in 2018, carrying 2000 flights a day and 90m customers overall

  • How Travel Counsellors has grown about 16% every year

-Hilton’s 100 year anniversary, Hilton’s innovations and expansion

  • How a weak pound means UK hotels do well

-The reversal of East to West Demand coming back to Egypt and Turkey

  • Development on the Adriatic coast and new markets there

-People still love exotic long-haul destinations Mexico, Thailand, Vietnam popular

-The bounce-back after terrorists attacks

  • Customers’ affinity to destinations such as Tunisia and Egypt

-Easyjet’s new destinations in Jordan, Denmark, Poland and Finland

  • An increase in an desire to make a trip different or memorable that might seem to be a small way to a provider but means a lot to the customer
  • Hilton being focused on what is going to make people travel Personalisation agendas

-The development of electric planes

  • Business travel is down into the UK but leisure travel is up

-Businesses are feeling the uncertainty due to Brexit

-3 in 5 people have said that Brexit will not change their holiday plans

  • 14% of people will spend more time in the UK

-How if we don’t get an agreement like Open Skies flights stop flying on the 1st April.

  • Preparations from all panellists for Brexit.

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