World Travel Trends 2015 / 2016

ITB World Travel Trends 2015/2016 – WORLD REPORT 

ITB World Travel Trends 2015/2016 has been just published and reports the conclusions of 23rd World Travel Forum of PISA (ITALY) held in October 2015 where about 50 international experts of tourism joined for discussing the main issues of tourism with the cooperation of European Travel Commission. I suppose that  the main outcomes of the conference could interest the followers of the of OUTgoing POLAND posts even if they aren’t specifically devoted to Polish Tourist demand  (with some very interesting exception).

Therefore in the next days I will publish some abstracts of the main conclusions of last Pisa meeting (if you are interested in the complete report click here).

The present post is focused on the World Travel Trends Worldwide economic factors, violent conflicts and terrorist attacks as well as the refugee crisis in Europe are impacting very differently on the global tourism industry this year. The overall trend remains satisfying, however, and 2015 has been another good year for world tourism with a 4.5% rise in outbound trips in the first eight months of this year.

The outlook for 2016 remains healthy and further growth of 4.3% is expected. The number of outbound trips worldwide increased by 4.5% in the first eight months of 2015, according to preliminary World Travel Monitor® results from IPK International. This figure is expected to be maintained for 2015 as a whole, giving a total of 1,024 million outbound trips and resulting in more than 1.2 billion international tourist arrivals worldwide (on average international travellers visit 1.2 countries per trip). There was a healthy 4% rise in average spending per night, which was double the increase seen last year.

The number of overnight stays increased by 3% from January to August, taking the global total to 7.5 billion nights. The average length of stay was 7.3 nights, which continued the long-term trend of shorter average trips due to the above-average growth of short trips (1-3 nights) compared to longer trips. Indeed, short trips now make up 33% of all outbound trips compared to 37% for trips of 4–7 nights and 30% for 8 nights or longer.

Luxury class hotels and ‘para-hotel’ accommodation continued to increase their market shares, while other hotel categories lost worldwide market shares. As the table shows, world outbound travel in terms of trips and nights has grown at similar rates this year compared to the last few years while spending per night is rising faster than in the last two years.

World Travel Trends (change in % over respective previous year)

Source: World Travel Monitor® 2015, IPK International

Global outbound travel growth this year was once again driven by Asia Pacific (+5%) and North America (+5%) while South America (+4%) per- formed surprisingly well. European outbound travel grew by a good 4.5% driven by improving economic conditions.

The Middle East grew by a strong 9% but Africa dropped by 6%. International tourist arrivals grew by 4% to a total of 810 million worldwide in the first eight months of 2015 according to World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) figures released last October. Europe, the world’s most visited regional destination, recorded a robust 5% increase in international tourist arrivals, the highest across all regions and a notable result for a rather mature region. Asia and the Pacific, the Americas and the Middle East all enjoyed 4% growth, while limited data available for Africa points to an estimated 5% decrease in the number of international tourists.

The main trends in world outbound travel are the strong growth of city trips, cruise holidays and long-haul travel, according to the World Travel Monitor®. One result of the strong growth in city travel is a trend towards more off-season travel. The number of trips taken between January and April increased by 60% from 2007 to 2014 and now accounts for 27% of all trips. In comparison, summertime trips (May – August) increased by 17%, and have a 41% share, while September – December trips rose by 16% and have a 31% share, according to World Travel Monitor® figures.

Over the same period, long-haul travel has grown to 17% of the total  market in terms of trips and to 29% in terms of spending. Average spending per long-haul trip was US$2,930 in 2014. The USA (20%), UK (8%), China (7%), Canada (6%), Japan (5%) and Germany (5%) are the top long-haul source markets. In the business travel market, the MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences & Exhibitions) segment grew by 37% between 2007 and 2014, reaching a 54% market share. The traditional business trips segment, which is being impacted by technological solutions, has declined by 14%.

The outlook for world travel in 2016 remains positive. In October 2015, as part of its World Travel Monitor, IPK International questioned respondents in the most important markets for outbound travel about their travel planning for 2016. The result is the World Travel Confidence Index, which already predicted future market trends very reliably in recent years. This found that 42% of respondents intend to travel the same amount next year as this year, while 30% plan more travel and only 20% plan to reduce travel. While crises influence the travel planning for 45% of respondents, a majority of 55% say they are not influenced. Overall, IPK is predicting international tourism growth of 4.3% for 2016. The strongest growth can be expected from Asia (+6.1%) and North America (+5.1% in total, but +5.9% from the USA).

Europeans will also contribute to the rise in global tourism with a 2.8% increase in outbound trips. The travel desire of Latin Americans is relatively subdued, and they plan only 1.9% more trips than in 2015.


Source: World Travel Monitor® 1–8/2015, IPK International

Author: Gilberto Zangari

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