The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) released its 2005 Travel & Tourism forecasts for 174 countries and the world and an assessment of the impact of the Indian Ocean tsunami on the industry at the 5th Global Travel & Tourism Summit in New Delhi, India.
The WTTC 2005 reported a robust recovery that started in 2004 should continue through 2005 at a healthy rate. WTTC also reported that the December 2004 tsunami, which struck some tourism destinations around the Indian Ocean, had a significant, but limited overall impact on the tourism economies.
Worldwide for 2005, WTTC is forecasting:
Demand: Encompassing all components of travel and tourism consumption, investment, government spending and exports is expected to grow 5.4 per cent (real terms) and total $6.2 trillion in 2005.
The 10-year annualised growth (2006-2015) forecast is 4.6 per cent per annum illustrating the outlook for strong long-term growth.
Visitor exports: The continued strength of the pound and euro against the US dollar, is expected to push visitor exports to nearly $820 billion in 2005 or real growth of 7.3 per cent.
GDP: Travel and tourism’s contribution to the world economy is illustrated by the direct industry impact of 3.8 per cent of total GDP and the combined direct and indirect impact of the Travel & Tourism economy expected to total 10.6 per cent in 2005.
Employment: The global travel and tourism industry is expected to produce 2.1 million new jobs in 2005 over its 2004 level to total 74.2 million jobs or 2.8 per cent of total world employment.
The broader perspective of the travel and tourism economy (direct and indirect) is expected to create more than 6.5 million new jobs for the world economy for a total of 221.6 million jobs dependent on Travel & Tourism or 8.3 per cent of total employment.
WTTC president Jean-Claude Baumgarten said, “We turned the corner in 2004 and it’s full steam ahead for travel and tourism in many countries and regions around the world. Much of the pent up demand from three previous years of terrorism, war and health concerns has been released in a record level of travel and tourism demand.
WTTC also released its special assessment of the December 2004 tsunami on three Indian Ocean economies: Maldives, Sri Lanka and Thailand. In each case, the analyses showed significant declines in visitor exports, while increases were reported in government expenditures and capital investment for marketing, promotion, recovery and rebuilding efforts to assist the industry.
In Thailand, visitor exports are expected to fall 22.8 per cent from pre-Tsunami growth forecasts for 2005, while government expenditures and capital investment are expected to increase 5.1 per cent and 4.7 per cent respectively.