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Brazil continues to drive growth in the Americas

Vicky Karantzavelou - 07 December 2012, 13:46

US citizens are cautious about travelling due to a weak economy – the ITB World Travel Trends Report analyses source markets in North and South America.

BERLIN – In terms of outbound travel South Americans are ahead of everyone else in the Americas. In 2012, they undertook 12 per cent more trips abroad than last year, marking a new record. The country clearly driving growth is Brazil. This is one of the findings of the ITB World Travel Trends Report, compiled by IPK International and commissioned by ITB Berlin. Outbound travel from the US this year is forecast to rise by about three per cent. The number of long-haul trips rose by six per cent, while short-distance travel fell by around one per cent.

Unsettled economy affects Americans’ travel plans
Following an increase this year, in 2013 US travel figures are predicted to remain stable, at most. The unsettled economy continues to strongly affect consumers’ plans. Around 52 per cent of Americans, more than half of those polled, said the recession influenced their travel intentions, although plans for trips abroad were less affected than local travel. 23 per cent, two per cent more than in 2011, actually aimed to undertake more international trips, while only 14 per cent, previously 21 per cent, have no plans at all to travel abroad. In 2013, overall growth in the US market is expected to be zero.

Brazilians remain keen to travel – increase in local tourism
Brazil, South America’s economic powerhouse, has overtaken everyone else in the Americas and currently leads the market in spending on trips abroad, which in 2010 rose by 50 per cent and in 2011 by 30 per cent. In 2012 it is forecast to rise by 16 billion dollars, compared with last year. As such, Brazil now plays a leading role in the global tourism market. The destinations most popular with Brazilians are in Europe and the US. Economic uncertainty is now also manifesting itself in Brazil. Thus, 45 per cent said the recession would affect their travel plans. Whereas last year 42 per cent said they wanted to travel more, today that figure stands at 29 per cent. Overall, in 2013 outbound travel is forecast to increase by around two per cent, compared with 2012.

The decline in trips abroad has had a positive effect on local tourism. This trend is in keeping with the anticipated increase in foreign arrivals, which Brazil is preparing for as the host of two major upcoming sporting events, the FIFA World Cup and the Olympic Games, for which it has invested heavily in its tourism infrastructure.

“In recent years Brazil, along with India, China and Russia, has been a driving force in global tourism", says Dr. Martin Buck, director of the Competence Center Travel and Logistics, Messe Berlin. “This trend is now weakening. The unsettled economy will also affect Americans’ travel plans next year. On a more positive note, the overall figures for outbound travel in 2013 are expected to remain stable or to marginally increase."

Launched by the consultancy IPK International and sponsored by ITB Berlin, every year at the World Travel Monitor Forum in Pisa, tourism experts and scientists from around the world present current statistics and the latest trends in international tourism.

Details of the studies will be presented by the ITB World Travel Trends Report, which will be published in early December at www.itb-berlin.com. The report is based on the assessments of around 50 tourism experts from 30 countries, on a special IPK International trend analysis undertaken in major source markets, and on core data supplied by the World Travel Monitor®, recognised as the largest continuous survey of global travel trends in some 60 source countries.

The findings reflect trends which emerged during the first eight months of 2012. At the ITB Berlin Convention Rolf Freitag, CEO of IPK International, will present the findings for the entire year, as well as the latest forecasts for 2013.

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