Tourism is fuelling economic growth, ITB delegates told

Tourism is fuelling economic growth, ITB delegates told By Ian Taylor

A 5% increase in international travel last year took total outbound trips worldwide to 952 million, according to travel industry analyst IPK.This figure was short of the 1 billion-plus that has been reported by the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).

The IPK World Travel Monitor data, unveiled at German trade show ITB in Berlin, suggest spending on overseas travel came near to €1 trillion in 2013.

IPK International chief executive Rolf Freitag told attendees at ITB: “Tourism has proven to be a growth driver in the global economy again.”

Spending worldwide rose 6% year on year to €989 billion as the number of nights spent abroad grew 4% to 7.6 billion.

Freitag suggested travel in the ‘advanced economies’ would grow “somewhat more strongly” this year than last “while the travel boom from developing countries could slacken”.

He forecast 4% growth in outbound travel in Europe this year, following 3% growth in 2013 to 432 million trips and 2% growth in 2012.

The number of nights European travellers spent abroad last year remained flat at 3.5 billion, according to IPK, but spending rose 2% to €368 billion.

Beach holidays saw 4% growth year on year across Europe and city breaks 5% growth.

IPK recorded 3% growth in the UK while Europe’s biggest outbound market, Germany, saw 2% growth. Russia enjoyed a 13% increase in outbound travel.

Growth in Germany’s outbound market outpaced domestic travel growth “for the first time in many years”, according to IPK.

Germans made more than 75 million trips abroad and took 55 million outbound holidays, pushing total travel spending in Germany up 6%.

IPK forecast a further 5% increase in worldwide travel this year.

The UNWTO reported international travel passed a record one billion travellers at the end of 2012.

Sourced from Travel Weekly

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