Study Snapshot: ITB World Travel Trends Report 2009/2010

The findings in the ITB World Travel Trends Report were based on the assessments of 60 tourism experts from 30 countries, on a special IPK International trend analysis undertaken in leading source markets, and on core data supplied by the World Travel Monitor, recognised as the largest ongoing survey of global travel trends in some 60 source countries.

Key Trends

Air Travel

  • The first decline in arrivals and receipts since 2003
  • Turnaround confirmed by monthly trends
  • Africa is the sole region to buck the general trend
  • Flat is the new growth
  • Premium travel has been the hardest hit …resulting in declining yields and continuing airline losses
  • Airlines Capacity cuts have been widespread …… but forecasts confirm the industry’s resilience
  • Airfares are set to rise in the short term …… but technological advances will generate longer-term efficiencies


  • Hotels slash prices to remain competitive
  • Signs of improvement are still very patchy
  • Local conditions are also expected to play a significant role in determining which types of hotel accommodation, in terms of design and functionality, are being conceived and planned for hotel guests of tomorrow.
  • corporate travellers losing further share of the market …… but spending on business travel remains strong


  • Longhaul destinations such as Europe are being hit hardest as Japanese, Chinese, Indians and Thais also choose to stay home or travel within Asia.
  • Travel demand for 2010 is likely to pick up, but spending is likely to lag at around 2005-2006 levels.
  • Prospects for 2010 will be greatly determined by any return of consumer confidence in Japan and China.

Main drivers of growth

  • Confidence levels are still relatively weak
  • Unemployment remains a major concern
  • Structural changes in the travel & tourism market …… due to changes in demographics and lifestyles
  • Unpredictable Consumers’ reaction in times of crisis

Strategies and responses to the downturn

  • Crisis reveals underlying structural weaknesses
  • New research, and new ways of using research
  • Changing the marketing message as well as the medium
  • Partnership is key
  • Business cycles are always with us
The report concludes, “There are currently too many uncertainties to be able to predict with any real confidence the likely trends in terms of travel and tourism demand from the world’s leading source regions. “For the time being, pending developments over the next few months, the best ‘guesstimates’ suggest that neither Europe nor North America will do better than achieve a flat year in terms of growth, unless the economic recovery is much stronger in the USA than currently expected. “But Asia Pacific should see at least a modest increase in outbound trip volume – mainly for intra-regional destinations – a trend also forecast for South America and the Middle East.”
Download the full report at ITB World Travel Trends Report 2009-2010

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