GLOBAL travel spending is still growing, although at a slower pace, 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 yesterday that global travel spending for 2016 is expected to grow by 3.1 percent. That is down from a March forecast of 3.3 percent but still outpacing global economic growth, which the group expects to be 2.3 percent.
Macroeconomic problems have a much bigger impact on travel than terrorist attacks, according to the group’s President David Scowsill.
“Travelers aren’t going to allow isolated terrorist attacks to put them off traveling,” he said. Tourists worried about safety in France have chosen Spain or Italy instead.
He said destinations with tourist-specific attacks usually take two years to recover, while other types of attacks lead to a faster resumption of travel.
Other travel groups are also seeing the slowdown in travel spending.
The International Air Transport Association has noted that while more people are flying, the upward trend “has moderated since January” and the percent 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 IATA’s head, Tony Tyler, in a statement.
And in April, the Global Business Travel Association warned of slowing volume from US-originating business travelers.