Our colleagues Nadja Dahlmann, Nicole Pierro und Hassan Abdelhalim were attending the recent World Travel Market (WTM) in London, which has given us a sneak peek into what's in store for travellers and industry professionals in the coming year. And guess what? It's looking pretty good!
First off, let's talk about the WTM itself. It's kind of a big deal, ranking as the second-largest international trade fair globally, right after the ITB. The event, hosted at the Excel exhibition centre in London, was buzzing with energy. While we don't have the exact attendance numbers yet, the crowded halls signalled a significant uptick in activity compared to the previous year.
What's so great about the WTM, you ask? Well, it's not just any travel expo; it's where the magic happens in terms of business deals and partnerships. It's a playground for the travel industry's movers and shakers to come together and shape the future of travel. Think of it as the place where many of the contracts that will shape our next travel adventures are drawn up.
Now, let's dive into the juicy stuff – the WTM Global Travel Report. This year, it was commissioned for the first time by RX (the folks behind the WTM) and carried out by Oxford Economics. The report paints a promising picture. Even though the number of leisure trips expected in 2023 might be a tad lower than in 2019, the value of those trips is set to soar way above pre-pandemic levels.
Yes, you heard that right! Despite all the challenges with inflation and rising costs, people are more eager than ever to pack their bags and explore. Developed countries are still optimistic about travel spending, and emerging markets are getting back on their growth track.
So, what's the verdict? Travel spending is going to stay robust in 2024. The experts are pretty confident about it.
Now, let's fast forward to the future – to 2033, to be precise. According to the WTM Global Report, we're in for some exciting times. They predict that by then, leisure travel spending will be more than double what it was in 2019. One of the driving forces? The growing number of households in China, India, and Indonesia that can now afford to jet-set internationally.
But the good news doesn't stop there. Europe is bouncing back, with Spain, France, Turkey, and Croatia showing impressive increases in travel revenue. Greece is smashing records, too, with a surge in international arrivals.
Asia is gearing up for a recovery, and the Middle East is standing out as a growth powerhouse. The Gulf region is expected to fully bounce back in terms of visitor numbers, with a remarkable 46% revenue increase compared to 2019.
So, there you have it! The travel industry is on the rebound, and the future looks bright. We can't wait to see what exciting adventures await us in the coming years. Stay tuned for more travel updates and tips as we navigate this ever-evolving world of exploration!