Latest News
HomeAssociationsWTTC predicts a tough year for the UK in terms of Travel and Tourism growth
WTTC's annual economic impact research

WTTC predicts a tough year for the UK in terms of Travel and Tourism growth

The launch of the World Travel & Tourism Council‘s (WTTC’s) annual economic impact research on Thursday 11 March at ITB Berlin confirmed a 5% decline in Travel & Tourism Economy GDP in 2009. "And 2010 will be a flat year", said the Council’s President & CEO, Jean-Claude Baumgarten. "As for the UK, the outlook is even less bullish, with Travel & Tourism Economy GDP forecast to fall by 2% as against -1.5% for European Union member countries overall," Baumgarten added…

The launch of the World Travel & Tourism Council‘s (WTTC’s) annual economic impact research on Thursday 11 March at ITB Berlin confirmed a 5% decline in Travel & Tourism Economy GDP in 2009. "And 2010 will be a flat year", said the Council’s President & CEO, Jean-Claude Baumgarten.

"As for the UK, the outlook is even less bullish, with Travel & Tourism Economy GDP forecast to fall by 2% as against -1.5% for European Union member countries overall," Baumgarten added.

The UK became the last major economy to exit the recession in Q4 2009 and, with a painful deleveraging process not yet complete, real GDP growth this year will be modest. This largely explains the continued downturn in Travel & Tourism Economy GDP, although the sector still accounts for nearly 10% of total GDP.

In terms of jobs, the picture is again a flat one for global Travel & Tourism in 2010, but this follows a 2% decline in 2009 over the sector’s peak year, 2008. In the UK, the total number of jobs in the Travel & Tourism Economy is projected to reach 3.1 million this year, or one in every 9.8 jobs – 10.2% of total employment – but the number of jobs is expected to increase by only 0.7% per annum over the next ten years – little more than half the rate projected for the EU overall – and hardly sufficient to provide the workforce necessary to manage the projected growth in Travel & Tourism demand.

"A lack of recognition of Travel & Tourism’s economic importance by the UK Government means that the industry has received very little public sector support since the beginning of the global economic crisis, despite its significant contribution to GDP, employment and investment," said Baumgarten. "Think of all the support that has gone to the financial sector, even though its share of GDP is not that much larger.

"But this situation clearly cannot continue in the long term", Baumgarten added, "especially if Travel & Tourism is to realise its long-term potential as a major generator of employment."

WTTC strongly maintains that it is crucial for UK government policy to support rather than hamper the long-term development of Travel & Tourism. And this means that policymakers need to be wary about placing extra burdens on this previously dynamic sector at this crucial time, when profitability is already under severe pressure.

"If the UK Government can ensure an operating environment that is conducive to business – avoiding unnecessary, unfair taxation such as the Airline Passenger Duty – the UK will see a strong recovery in Travel & Tourism demand over the next ten years", he added, "and this will stimulate a recovery in investment, resulting in an annual growth of 9.7% for the UK between now and 2020."

If not, Baumgarten warned, the UK’s Travel & Tourism will lose share to neighbouring and non-European destinations, resulting in a possible loss of jobs and a further decline in Travel & Tourism Economy GDP.

23/07/2024
22/07/2024
19/07/2024
18/07/2024
17/07/2024
16/07/2024