The World Travel & Tourism Council released its 2005 travel and tourism forecasts for 174 countries and the world and an assessment of the impact of the Indian Ocean Tsunami on the industry at the recent 5th Global Travel & Tourism Summit in New Delhi, India. It also accepted Greece’s bid to hold the council’s next summit.
Releasing forecasts prepared on its behalf by Oxford Economic Forecasting, which follow the United Nations standard for Tourism Satellite Accounting, the WTTC reported that the record robust recovery started in 2004 should continue through 2005 at a healthy rate. WTTC also reported that the December 2004 tsunami, which struck some tourism destinations around the Indian Ocean, had a significant, but limited overall impact on the tourism economies.
Worldwide for 2005, WTTC is forecasting:
Demand: Encompassing all components of travel and tourism consumption, investment, government spending and exports is expected to grow 5.4% (real terms) and total $6.2 trillion in 2005. The ten-year annualized growth (2006-2015) forecast is 4.6% per annum illustrating the outlook for strong long-term growth.
Visitor Exports: The continued strength of the British pound and euro against the U.S. dollar is expected to push visitor exports to nearly $820 billion in 2005 or real growth of 7.3%.
GDP: Travel and tourism contribution to the world economy is illustrated by the direct industry impact of 3.8% of total GDP and the combined direct and indirect impact of the travel and tourism economy expected to total 10.6% in 2005.
Employment: The global travel and tourism industry is expected to produce 2.1 million new jobs in 2005 over it’s 2004 level to total 74.2 million jobs or 2.8% of total world employment. The broader perspective of the travel and tourism economy (direct and indirect) is expected to create more than 6.5 million new jobs for the world economy for a total of 221.6 million jobs dependent on travel and tourism or 8.3% of total employment.
WTTC President, Jean-Claude Baumgarten said, “We turned the corner in 2004 and it’s full steam ahead for travel and tourism in many countries and regions around the world. Much of the pent up demand from three previous years of terrorism, war and health concerns has been released in a record level of demand. Consumers and business travelers have voted their confidence in the economy by returning to holidays and business trips in massive numbers. We haven’t seen such a rebound in growth for quite some time, it’s really quite exciting. For 2005 we expect the rebound to continue at a sustainable pace.”
At the press event, the WTTC released its 2005 Top Ten List of Travel & Tourism economies. For the second year in a row Montenegro placed first as the fastest growing travel and tourism economy in the world. India and China placed second and third respectively illustrating the impact of the emerging middle-classes has on travel and tourism growth.