For almost 15 years, Hotelier has dedicated its May issue to the topic of investment (see Investment Roundtable and stories, starting on p. 10). Clearly, investors are the lifeblood of the industry. They demonstrate confidence in business, allow developers to create new hotel entities and motivate operators to upgrade their properties through renovations, refurbishment and expansion. But, as each downturn teaches us, it’s hard to generate investment without strong travel patterns and solid growth.
It’s therefore reassuring for hoteliers to learn that global demand generators show consumer confidence and strength is on the upswing. For example, according to a recent global travel trends survey by global forecaster Oxford Economics, “The global travel industry is poised for a period of sustained growth over the next decade, driven in part by China’s share of global outbound travel, reaching as much as 20 per cent by 2023.”
Oxford Economic’s survey, “Shaping the Future of Travel: Macro trends driving industry growth over the next decade,” predicts an optimistic macro-economic outlook for global travel in the next decade. “The survey shows the [travel] industry is projected to outstrip global GDP by approximately two per cent, growing 5.4 per cent per annum,” states the report.
Perhaps not surprisingly, “China’s growth in outbound travel, which as recently as 2005 was just one per cent, is expected to overtake the U.S. to become the world’s largest outbound travel market this year, with the number of Chinese households able to afford overseas travel set to more than double in the next 10 years to reach 220 million. China will also become the biggest domestic travel market by 2017, driven largely by rapidly increasing GDP, rising employment levels and higher consumer spending,” says the report.
But China isn’t the only nation expected to grow outbound travel. According to the report, forecasts show other large emerging markets such as Russia, Brazil, India, Indonesia and Turkey will each average more than five-per-cent annual growth over the next 10 years, driven largely by rising wealth and changing consumer habits. Despite recent economic troubles in the Eurozone, Europe is expected to retain the lion’s share of tourism flows, but, perhaps not surprisingly Asia is the fastest-growing region for travel.
As for Canada, with such significant global growth predicted, isn’t it prime time we improved our marketing efforts to tap into this growing body of travellers?