The global travel industry has received a significant boost. According to analysts, the continuing recovery of the world economy will provide a significant impetus for the world’s tourism industry in the coming year. Speaking on Tuesday at the opening of the 21st World Travel Monitor Forum® in Pisa, Dr. Gernot Nerb, an economic expert at the Munich-based ifo Institute for Economic Research, said: “The tourism industry around the world will undoubtedly benefit from the global economic recovery, forecast at 2.8 per cent, and from the unanimously positive forecasts for every major economic zone. This concerns Europe in equal measure, where after a two-year period of economic depression there appears to be a light at the end of the tunnel.” In 2014, with the exception of Greece and Cyprus, the economy in every eurozone country could expect to grow, he added, even if in countries such as Italy and Slovenia returning to black figures would mean no more than zero growth.
Currently, travellers from eurozone countries are enjoying the benefits of a favourable dollar exchange rate. However, Gernot Nerb warned of a possibly negative mid-term impact on export business: “At present the euro is fundamentally overvalued. If that trend continues and the US dollar loses more ground against the euro it could have a damaging effect on export business in the eurozone countries. Less competitive countries such as Italy, for example, would be particularly hard hit.“
Commenting on the situation in Greece, Nerb said: “Even if the forecasts for 2014 are good the tourism industry alone will be unable to help the country. However, the travel industry can play an important part in getting it back on its feet.” According to Gernot Nerb, ongoing developments in the BRIC countries are disillusioning. “The BRIC countries are currently lagging behind expectations, as structural problems and some of the foreign investors pulling out has weakened growth in these emerging countries. Despite this, prospects are good for the BRIC countries. In the future, the people living in these countries will exert a significant influence on the fortunes of the world’s travel industry.“
According to Gernot Nerb the growth prospects for Germany as a travel destination are particularly good: “Substantial wage increases, an expanding job market and a positive mood among consumers create ideal conditions for higher travel spending. This applies in particular to times in which saving money offers no financial gains. And that is currently the case.“
In the words of Gernot Nerb, on balance the prospects for 2014/2015 are currently very good. However, one should never exclude the possibility of political errors triggering another financial crisis.
Launched by the consultancy IPK International and sponsored by ITB Berlin, every year at the World Travel Monitor® Forum in Pisa 50 tourism experts and scientists from around the world present current statistics and the latest trends in international tourism.
As in recent years, ITB Berlin will publish more results of the January to August 2013 trend surveys conducted by IPK as well as the assessments of more than 50 tourism experts from over 20 countries and core data of the World Travel Monitor®. All the information will be compiled in the ITB World Travel Trends Report, available in early December at www.itb-berlin.de. At the ITB Berlin Convention Rolf Freitag, president of IPK International, will present the findings of the World Travel Monitor® for the entire year, as well as the latest forecasts for 2014. The World Travel Monitor® is based on the findings of representative interviews with more than 500,000 people in over 60 global travel markets. It has been carried out for more than 20 years and is recognised as the most wide-scale continuous survey examining global travel trends.