The global Travel & Tourism industry will grow more slowly in 2011 and 2012 than previously indicated, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).

WTTC’s annual research, published in March 2011, forecast growth of 4.5% and 5.1% in 2011 and 2012 respectively. Following the deterioration in global financial conditions in the second half of 2011, the continuing eurozone debt crisis, and the threat of a return to recession in the United States, the growth forecasts for 2011 and 2012 have been
downgraded to 3.2% and 3.3% respectively. The numbers measure direct contribution to GDP.

Long-term prospects remain strong, as WTTC predicts ten-year growth holding steady at around 4% per year between 2011 and 2021. This is down marginally from the annual growth of 4.3% forecast in March 2011, with the reduction due almost entirely to the downward revisions to growth in 2011 and 2012.

The latest economic data points to a slowdown in economic activity in the spring and summer of 2011. GDP growth in the USA is down from over 3% in the fourth quarter of 2010 to around 1.5% in the second quarter of 2011, with similar levels in the eurozone and growth as low as 0.5% in the UK in Q2 2011. Nevertheless, latest Travel & Tourism indicators show that people are still travelling – with international air travel and hotel occupancy rates up.

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