China’s exports have already acquired for it the title of the new world champion. In addition the current year, 2010, will see the Chinese capturing a another new record: according to the latest predictions from ITB Berlin. Following the economic recession, China’s population will again be displaying a disproport-ionately keen interest in travel, with many travel plans actually being made during the current year. By way of contrast, despite improving economic prospects, there will be no increase in the desire for long haul travel from North America. The Americans are still suffering from the effects of the global economic and financial crisis and, according to the World Travel Trends Report 2010 by researchers IPK International, which was commissioned by Messe Berlin, there will be a further five per cent decline in travel to destinations outside the American continent. On the other hand the actions of Europeans will remain predictable for the travel industry: They intend to travel in greater numbers and appear to be unaffected by current economic reports.
According to the IPK the volume of travel by private individuals during the present year will be nowhere near as great as it was prior to the onset of the global economic and financial crisis. Even though the picture throughout Europe is not a uniform one, the number of journeys undertaken on the continent will only fluctuate by one per cent above or below the level of 2009 when the crisis began. Confidence and trust are on the increase. The representative survey of Europeans that was conducted by the IPK has revealed that 66 would not be influenced any more when making their travel plans, whereas in the autumn of last year the corresponding figure was 52 per cent.
The survey goes on to predict that people in the USA will not be travelling abroad in the same numbers this year as they did last year. In September 2009, of those questioned, 65 per cent stated that their travel plans were influenced by the economic situation, compared with 58 per cent in January 2010. Unlike the Europeans, in North America there is considerable evidence to show that greater reductions will be made on travel expenditure, with more people vacationing in their own country.
In Asia the picture is more uneven. Whereas travel plans tend to be more conservative in South East Asia, corresponding more closely to the situation in North America, the real driving force behind the travel industry is provided by the Chinese. While 33 per cent of those questioned in January 2010 about their travel plans for the current year were definitely influenced by the economic crisis, in China the corresponding figure was only 14 per cent. For the Asian continent as a whole an increase of 4 per cent in travel activity is expected.
“This year the global travel industry can expect a very significant impetus from Asia, and especially from China”, according to Dr. Martin Buck, Director of the Competence Centre Travel and Logistics of Messe Berlin. “We anticipate that the very promising forecasts for Asia and China will have a very positive impact on ITB Asia, which is taking place for the third time in Singapore from 20 to 22 October 2010. Europe will certainly benefit from the keen enthusiasm for travel among the Chinese”, adds Dr. Martin Buck.
The ITB World Travel Trends Report is largely based on the representative IPK International World Travel Monitor®, which has been compiled annually for more than 20 years on 60 important travel markets around the world, using more than 500,000 interviews to obtain data about the volume of travel and attitudes to travel.