Travel and tourism data for Europe remain encouraging and suggest another quarter of solid GDP growth by Eurozone standards is on the cards, the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) noted in its Monthly Economic Impact report for June 2015.
“Growth of 1.5 percent is expected in Q2 and 1.6 percent for the year – the strongest year since 2011”, the report says.
However, as it is underlined, at the time the report went to press, “Greece’s membership of the Eurozone hangs in the balance, although the situation is dynamic and could change”.
The WTTC noted that Greek banks have closed for a week, capital controls have been implemented and probability of a ‘Grexit’ remains extremely high.
According to the report, should an orderly ‘Grexit’ proceed, scenario analysis suggests Eurozone GDP growth for 2015 will decline to 1.4 percent; revised to 1.3 percent in the event of a disorderly exit and potentially falling to – 0.2 percent in 2016.
“Under the ‘worst case scenario’ Greece will be hit hardest, with negative GDP growth of 3.3 percent and 10.6 percent forecast for 2015 and 2016 respectively”, the WTTC noted.
January-June 2015: Greece showed strong growth
Further into the report, it is noted that Greece showed strong growth in overnight international tourist arrivals and inbound tourism expenditure during the first half period January-June 2015.
The WTTC report’s data shows that Europe posted 4.8 percent growth in international tourist arrivals for the for the first six months of the year, potentially helped by a weaker euro, with the strongest growth experienced in Greece (52.7 percent), Iceland (32.2 percent) and Croatia (24.5 percent).
In line with strong international tourist arrivals numbers, inbound tourism expenditure growth for the January-June 2015 period was strong in Portugal (14.4 percent), and Greece (12.4 percent).
On an international level, the report noted that the travel and tourism industry is again expected to outperform the wider economy in 2015, and register positive growth for the sixth successive year.