Tourism hotspot: Foreigners flock to India to see the Taj Mahal, but where would Indians like to travel?
GLOBAL tourism faces a challenging year due to the downturn but the future is bright, with a growing middle class in emerging markets such as India and China eager for travel, industry executives meeting in Beijing say.
“We’ll see middle-income classes explode - there will be two billion more with middle income in the world by 2030,” Goldman Sachs economist Anna Stupnytska said at last week’s Global Travel and Tourism Summit.
“As people get rich, move to the middle class, they spend less money on necessities and the tourism sector explodes.”
Brazil, Russia, India and China, the world’s top four emerging markets which represent 40 per cent of the global population, are the focus of all travel professionals looking for new clientele with money to spend.
But the industry is still trying to recover from a disastrous year in 2009, when the wealth generated by global travel and tourism fell by 4.8 per cent.
According to James Robinson, former chief executive of American Express and ex-president of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), the industry accounts for nine per cent of global GDP and employs 235 million people.
The financial crisis and the H1N1 virus hit the sector hard in 2008-9, and 2010 has already brought its own negative surprises - the European debt crisis and huge air traffic disruptions caused by an ash-spewing volcano in Iceland.
The global tourism industry is expected to see very slight growth of 0.5 percent this year - not quite a return to pre-crisis levels.
No Comments Posted yet
Do you have comments on this?