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WTTC forecasts strong fourth quarter 2002 and solid growth in 2003 for travel&tourism

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) released a series of new economic reports with research produced by Oxford Economic Forecasting…

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) released a series of new economic reports with research produced by Oxford Economic Forecasting (OEF) that shows a modest increase in Travel & Tourism activity for 2002 compared to forecasts released in March of this year, and solid expectations for growth in Travel & Tourism in 2003.

For most of 2002, output has been running slower than in 2001 as demand has been hit first by worries over travelling as a result of September 11, 2001 and, second, by spending cutbacks associated with the global economic downturn. However, fourth quarter output is running well above that seen in the immediate aftermath of September 11, so the end-of-year estimates are looking more positive than they were in March of this year. In fact, the relative strength of consumer spending in many countries compared with expectations earlier in the year has helped maintain personal Travel & Tourism spending, and we now see industry output in 2002 as flat rather than the declining levels we were expecting in the spring.

In our forecasts prepared in March 2002, we had foreseen record growth in 2003. These forecasts have been dampened by the bombing in Bali, continuing risks from terrorism evident in several countries, possible military action against Iraq and a more fragile world economic recovery. Still, the updated WTTC/OEF forecast for 2003 shows a solid 4.1 per cent real growth for the year.

To address the continuing terrorism concerns, WTTC is host to a high-level Tourism Security Meeting at World Travel Market on Wednesday, November 13. This by-invitation-only meeting will involve ministers, ambassadors, key industry representatives and security experts. Panellists include business leaders from Carey International and TUI, as well as the Tourism Minister of Jordan and Lord King of Bridgewater. Findings from the meeting will be released late on Wednesday afternoon.

WTTC President Jean-Claude Baumgarten said: The fundamental message from this special WTTC/OEF update is that the world Travel & Tourism industry will need more time to recover from the impacts of September 11 than we expected at the start of the year. Although 2002 turned out a little better than we predicted in March, we still expect 2003 will be a solid year of growth (4.1 per cent in real terms).

The World Travel & Tourism Council is the forum for global business leaders in Travel & Tourism comprising the presidents, chairs and CEOs of 100 of the world’s foremost companies. It is the only body representing the private sector in all parts of the Travel & Tourism industry worldwide.

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