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Global Consumers Prioritize Leisure Travel, says WTM Global Report

Global Consumers Prioritize Leisure Travel, says WTM Global Report

Global Consumers Prioritize Leisure Travel, says WTM Global Report

New research unveiled at WTM London 23, the premier travel and tourism event, indicates a positive post-pandemic outlook for the global tourism industry. The WTM Global Travel Report, in collaboration with Oxford Economics, reveals that consumers worldwide are actively prioritizing leisure travel for their discretionary spending.

According to the 70-page report, the number of leisure trips in 2023 is projected to be only 10% lower than the pre-pandemic peak in 2019. Despite challenges such as rising fuel, staffing, and finance costs for the aviation sector, the value of these trips, in dollar terms, is expected to end the year positively compared to pre-pandemic levels.

The report notes that while increased costs and potential shifts in consumer outlook pose challenges, there are currently no clear signs that these factors are deterring trip volumes. The demand for leisure travel in 2024 is predicted to be robust, with domestic tourism continuing to show strong performance.

Looking towards long-term growth, the tourism industry is expected to flourish. By 2033, spending on leisure travel is forecasted to more than double the 2019 levels. One driving force behind this growth is the significant increase in the number of households in China, India, and Indonesia able to afford international travel.

Certain destinations are poised for a triple-digit increase in the value of their inbound leisure business over the next decade. These include Cuba (103% growth), Sweden (179%), Tunisia (105%), Jordan (104%), and Thailand (178%).

Despite the long-term optimism, the report acknowledges climate change as a caveat, with the main impact being displaced demand and shifts in seasonality.

Juliette Losardo, Exhibition Director at World Travel Market London, emphasizes the need for continued vigilance within the industry, stating, “There is no room for complacency. We encourage travel businesses to evaluate the path they are on by examining the sections on drivers of demand, risks and opportunities, and emerging traveler trends.”