Global travel spending is still growing, although slowly, despite weakening economies and fears over terrorism.
The World Travel and Tourism Council, a group backed by travel providers with the mission to promote tourism, said in a report Monday that global travel spending for 2016 is expected to grow by 3.1 per cent. That is down from a March forecast of 3.3 per cent but still outpacing global economic growth, which the group expects to be 2.3 per cent.
According to the group’s president, David Scowsill, macroeconomic problems have a much bigger impact on travel than terrorist attacks.
He added, “Travellers aren’t going to allow isolated terrorist attacks to put them off travelling”. Tourists worried about safety in France have chosen Spain or Italy instead, for example.
Scowsill said destinations with tourist-specific attacks usually take two years to recover, while other types of attacks take lesser.
Other travel groups are also seeing the slowdown in travel spending.
The International Air Transport Association recently noted that while more people are flying, the upward trend “has moderated since January” and the per cent of seats occupied has actually slipped slightly.
“The fragile and uncertain economic backdrop, political shocks and a wave of terrorist attacks are all contributing to a softer demand environment,” said the group’s head, Tony Tyler.