The international travel and tourism market is expected to continue to grow during 2008 despite uncertain global economic conditions, according to new research.
The report by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and Oxford Economics (OE) says international arrivals increased almost six percent last year, totalling nearly 900 million tourists worldwide.
International air passenger traffic increased 9.3 percent according to IARA figures.
WTTC President Jean-Claude Baumgarten says growth has been particularly rapid in the Middle East.
“These countries are not only recognising the development potential of travel and tourism and therefore investing heavily in new infrastructure and facilities but their citizens are also seeing rapid economic growth boost their incomes beyond the level where international travel becomes both a feasible and desired option,” he says.
Baumgarten says the economic slowdown, brought on by the US sub-prime mortgage crisis, is likely to have a limited impact, due to the growth of emerging markets and the easing in monetary policy by central banks.
By Elizabeth Clifford-Marsh