How was 2018?

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

Where will we be spending our money next year?

It appears that tourism this year wasn’t quite as good as in 2017. Having said that it looks like growth will be up by about 5% which is a significant increase so countries will only be downhearted if they haven’t managed to reach that figure.

One such country will be the UK according to the World Travel Monitor conducted by IPK International and commissioned by ITB Berlin along with Switzerland and Denmark.

Among European destinations Turkey is the clear winner, reporting almost 30% more visitors. The developments were also very positive in Greece, with a 19% increase over the first eight months. During the same period the UK registered a drop in visitors of approximately 3%. After years of strong growth, the figures for Spain stagnated.

Some of the reasons for lower growth his year were rising oil prices and air fares according to  Rolf Freitag, CEO of IPK International.

That may not be the case next year since oil prices are now lower and, despite the recently announced decision of OPEC to reduce oil output, there is little sign that oil prices will reach the heights they met this year. Yet who forecast such a steep rises in oil prices this year? There is no certainty that they won’t rise again in 2019.

What IPK doesn’t mention is the impact that Brexit might have on tourism growth. Britons are big travellers in Europe and form very large markets for countries such as Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Cyprus, Germany and Malta. As none of us knows what will happen, making any forecasts for 2019 is difficult.

That forecasting problem won’t apply to countries where Britons freely travel outside the EU so Turkey, Tunisia, Egypt, countries in the Far East and the Caribbean should be unaffected unless sterling dips considerably against other countries. The one part f the travel industry that could do very well would be cruising where ships start and end at UK ports and, or where, shipboard charges are all in sterling.

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