Growth is coming from all regions worldwide but the strongest gains are coming from Asia and Latin America.
"New travel destinations developed much faster than mature destinations (like Europe and North America)," said Rolf Freitag, CEO of IPK International, speaking at the ITB in Berlin this week. "Africa especially is very much improving, and we really hope it comes back."
In 2018, the number of outbound trips increased by 5.5 percent, resulting in 1.4 billion international trips, according to the latest IPK International's World Travel Monitor, a survey of analyzing outbound travel behavior in more than 60 countries, which make up 90 percent of the global outbound demand.
And while Europe and North America grew at 5 percent each, it was Asia that was a key driver of growth at 7 percent, followed by Latin America at 6 percent.
Meanwhile, the global economy lagged in growth, at 3.7 percent.
"It was a good year for the global economy, but tourism did even better," said Freitag. "Tourism is a key driver of the world economy today, and its share of driving that growth is increasing."
He added that as the world economy slows in 2019, so will international travel. However, he added, it will not slow considerably.
Overall, global outbound trips are expected to increase by 4 percent in 2019, with the Asia-Pacific region topping forecasts to grow 6 percent. Growth in the Americas is forecasted to reach 5 percent, while Europe with 3 percent is expected to slow the most.
Meanwhile, the survey also found that once again Asia and Europe were the global winners as destinations with 6 percent growth in international trips. The Americas lagged with 3 percent growth.
The report also found other key developments: that overtourism is likely to become a growing problem for the tourism industry, ewith the young and also Asian outbound travelers particularly bothered by it.
It also found that while some destinations such as Egypt plagued with security issues are recovering, some tourists – particularly Asians – are still afraid of terror attacks and one-third said those concerns influenced their travel planning.
Meanwhile, holiday trips continued to outperform business trips with a 72 percent share, with international travelers staying slightly longer and also spending more when abroad: The turnover of all international trips overall increased by 8 percent in 2018.
MICE trips grew, and trips to learn languages declined along with business travel. Meanwhile, city trips and pilgrimage travel are the market segments to watch, Welt says.
Photo: Eros Banaj
This is strictly an exclusive feature, reprints of this article in any shape or form without prior written approval from 4Hoteliers.com is not permitted. Jabeen Bhatti is reporting exclusively for 4Hoteliers.com at ITB Berlin 2019 - www.4Hoteliers.com/itb.
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