Political unrest and terrorist attacks were often headline news last year. Tourist numbers fell sharply in a number of countries representing major travel destinations, such as Turkey and France. Overall however, this had little impact on the travel industry. According to the findings of the 2016 World Travel Monitor® survey conducted by IPK International, travel abroad actually rose by four per cent and at just under 1.1 billion international trips achieved a new record. Globally, the market organisation forecasts a further four per cent increase in trips abroad for 2017. Asia and North America are the driving forces in this market (plus five per cent). Europe and South America in their role as source markets are expected to achieve moderate growth (plus three per cent). At the same time Europe generates over 50 per cent of foreign travel overall.
The world’s most popular travel destination is Spain, which for the first time in 2016 topped the rankings and put the USA in second place. Germany remained third, followed by Italy and France. With a market share of 28 per cent beaches are still the main reason why people go on holiday. There was renewed interest in city breaks, which in 2016 achieved a global market share of 26 per cent. Round trips remained steady at 19 per cent.
“Worldwide, urban tourism is booming despite cities bearing the brunt of terror attacks“, said Rolf Freitag, CEO of IPK International, speaking at the ITB Berlin Convention 2017. A special poll, part of the overall survey in 21 major source markets, found that 45 per cent of foreign travellers might change their plans for 2017 due to recent unrest and terror warnings (six per cent more than during the same period in 2016). A total of 16 per cent said they would not travel abroad and tended towards destinations in their home countries.
The IPK World Travel Monitor® conducts an annual survey of international travel patterns in more than 60 countries, covering more than 90 per cent of global travel.
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