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Global travel to grow 4 percent in 2015 after slowdown in 2014

In the Middle East and North Africa, political turmoil is constraining tourism demand. The Syrian conflict continues, affecting the entire region, with sporadic violence and terrorist attacks undermining consumer confidence and leaving travel advisories in place.

LONDON, UK – According to new travel research released by Euromonitor International, international arrivals  will grow by 4 percent in 2015, driven by forecasted growth of 5% in developed countries such as the UK and the US. Rising wealth and changing consumer habits in emerging markets such as India and Indonesia have also supported growth and despite a slowdown, China outbound travel continues to offers strong potential with expected growth of 10 percent in 2015.

According to Caroline Bremner, Head of Travel at Euromonitor, “Our new research shows encouraging results for the travel industry in 2015, following the slowdown in 2014, when on-going geopolitical tensions and regional conflicts took their toll on tourism demand.”

In the Middle East and North Africa, political turmoil is constraining tourism demand. The Syrian conflict continues, affecting the entire region, with sporadic violence and terrorist attacks undermining consumer confidence and leaving travel advisories in place. For example, in 2014 Egypt recorded growth of 7 percent but remains well below pre-Arab Spring levels, and Tunisia experienced a decline of 2 percent.

“International tourist arrivals are strongly correlated with political and security issues, as well as economic fluctuations,” said Bremner. “One of the biggest declines for travel was in Russia as outbound demand declined in 2014 by over 15 percent. This downward trend is expected to continue in 2015 as the Russian economy contracted in the first quarter of the year and consumer confidence fell to its lowest level in six years as a result of the conflict in Ukraine and ensuing international sanctions, compounded by falling oil revenues.”

Falling outbound Russian demand is having a knock-on effect on destinations far and wide as demand is forecast to shrink by a further 2 percent in 2015 after contracting sharply in 2014. Destinations around the world that depend on Russian travellers are seeing a decline, if not a slowdown. For example, arrivals from Russia are expected to fall by 3 percent to neighbouring Finland and 2 percent for further-afield destinations like Thailand, Spain and Turkey.

“Although recent geopolitical tensions are affecting international arrivals, the travel industry still outperforms the global economy and many other industries,” concluded Bremner. “The travel industry is poised for growth, but this growth will not be evenly distributed and geopolitical trends are likely to determine winners and losers.”

WTM 2014 Euromonitor International

Co-Founder & Chief Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network | Website | + Posts

Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.

She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.

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