Growth in the global tourism industry in 2012 will be broadly in line with expectations set at the beginning of the year according to the latest data.
In an update of forecasts made at the beginning of the year, the World Travel & Tourism Council predicts growth for tourism globally of 2.7 per cent, only slightly downgraded from the 2.8 per cent that was expected for the industry at the beginning of the year.
The main reasons for the marginal downgrade are that WTTC now expects world GDP growth to be 2.3 per cent in 2012; down 0.2 per cent from the beginning of the year and the continuing problems in the Eurozone.
The latest economic data from WTTC’s research partner, Oxford Economics, show marginal downgrades in the Eurozone and the US since the beginning of the year, contrasting with upgrades in Japan and emerging markets.
South Korea’s annual tourism GDP growth of 13.2 per cent is the highest of any G20 country.
Its boom coincides with its self- designation of 2010-2012 as the “Visit Korea” years and strong international demand from its main two markets (Japan and China).
Favourable exchange rates and a number of cultural, sporting and economic events have also contributed to its booming tourism growth.
By contrast, Italy is currently showing the weakest performance of any G20 country, with negative tourism GDP growth of -2.8 per cent now expected in 2012.
WTTC president David Scowsill said: “The latest figures from WTTC confirm the resilience of the Travel & Tourism industry around the world. Despite some specific and regional downgrades to short-term economic and industry forecasts, the longer-term prospects for tourism remain very positive, and continue to be boosted by strong growth and rising prosperity in emerging markets.
“We expect the direct contribution of Travel & Tourism to global GDP to grow by an average of four per cent per annum between 2011 and 2021 with North East Asia making up a growing share of the overall Travel & Tourism contribution to GDP.”