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World Travel & Tourism Council

United Kingdom Travel&Tourism poised for steady growth in 2005

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) released its 2005 forecast for the United Kingdom (UK) Travel & Tourism today…

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) released its 2005 forecast for the United Kingdom (UK) Travel & Tourism today at a meeting of WTTC Members with the British business community in London.

At this event, Jean Claude Baumgarten, President of WTTC said, The UK`s Travel & Tourism industry is one of the largest in the world, ranking fifth overall in terms of absolute size. Furthermore, the industry is set to grow 5.1 per cent in 2005. Nevertheless, when compared to other developing and mature Travel & Tourism economies, long-term growth is sluggish at 3.3 per cent per annum in the period 2006 – 2015.

David Michels, Chief Executive of Hilton Group PLC and WTTC Executive Committee Member added, Travel & Tourism has shown great resilience. It is certainly one of the industries which, over the last twenty years, has always bounced back stronger than before. As far as the UK is concerned it represents an important part of GDP and a significant source of employment, both directly and indirectly, because of the spill over into other industries – one in every ten jobs is related to Travel & Tourism. The UK must not sit on its laurels but must instead be prepared for new emerging markets and growing world competition among destinations.

During the press conference Jean-Claude Baumgarten issued a call upon the new government, armed with a fresh mandate and as it prepares for Presidency of the European Union (EU), to recognize the importance of Travel & Tourism by raising the profile of the industry within the government itself as well as the EU institutions. He highlighted the need for continued investment in infrastructure to ensure that UK Travel & Tourism is prepared for rapidly growing demand emanating from China, India and Russia and to ensure that the UK maintains its competitiveness as new Eastern and European destinations emerge.

For 2005, WTTC is forecasting the following for UK Travel & Tourism:

  • Demand: Encompassing all components of Travel & Tourism consumption, investment, government spending and exports the industry is expected to generate GBP184.9 billion (US$353.4 billion) of economic activity growing (nominal terms) to GBP321.9 billion (US$488.4 billion) by 2015. Travel & Tourism Demand is expected to grow by 5.1 per cent in 2005 and by 3.3 per cent per annum, in real terms, between 2006 and 2015. 2004 growth was reported at 4.0 per cent.
  • Visitor Exports: The UK industry is expected to benefit from strong inbound traffic to post GBP34.9 billion (US$66.6 billion) in total Visitor Exports in 2005 or 11.5 per cent of total exports.
  • GDP: Travel & Tourism`s contribution to the UK economy is illustrated by the direct industry impact of 4.0 per cent of total GDP and the combined direct and indirect impact of the Travel & Tourism economy expected to total 10.1 per cent in 2005.
  • Employment: The UK Travel & Tourism industry is expected to produce 19,440 new jobs in 2005 over its 2004 level to total 1,075,860 jobs or 3.5 per cent of total employment. The broader perspective of the Travel & Tourism economy (direct and indirect) is expected to create 16,590 new jobs for the UK economy for a total of 2,857,300 jobs dependent on Travel & Tourism or 9.3 per cent of total employment.
Theodore Koumelis
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