Even though a global restriction of credit and a tightening of purse strings is currently in an ascendancy, the travel industry has optimistic forecasts of growth and profit for the next twelve months. This growth is expected to slow down somewhat although overall despite a slower pace the growth is still perceived to be extensive.
After a good year for the travel industry in 2007 the hope is that continued prosperity will be apparent. It is estimated that travellers increased by almost six percent in 2007 relating to almost nine hundred million tourists traversing the planet. The reason the forecasts are so optimistic is due the continuous growth of the last four years, each year the industry standard of four percent growth has been surpassed.
Added to this the travel industry will be buoyant at the news that tourist spending per head is also up on the previous year and air traffic in general climbed 9.3 percent; a record even in this blossoming industry. Regionally, the largest amount of industry growth has occurred in the Middle East. The travel industry in this region is finally realising the potential profits to be made from an extensive European market.
Also, developing countries are experiencing growth in their own travel industry. This can be seen as a direct consequence of development experts heralding tourism as an ideal way to pull countries out of the quagmire of poverty. Investment in infrastructure such as hotels and restaurants as well as other facilities has been far reaching in developing nations, creating jobs and steady incomes for many. Subsequently economic growth has resulted, further aiding development.
One nation that has fully embraced the travel industry as a means of extra income is Dubai. The pursuit of tourism in Dubai has meant a large amount of construction, the number of hotels in the country is now at a record high, while supporting businesses are also experiencing growth.
That is not to say that the travel industry will experience unbridled success this year, there are variety of challenges that will have to be overcome in order to continue along this path of growth. Economic conditions worldwide are suffering due to credit becoming increasingly hard to obtain. Although this seemingly will predominantly affect the housing and property market, the ramifications will broach other sectors. As people find their housing costs rising, the allowance for travel and holidays will diminish.
Added to this general rise in the cost of living are the higher energy prices spreading across the developed world. Household finances will become tighter and once again the amount available for travel will lessen. Coaxially however the increase in oil prices for example will allow countries with rich oil deposits to further invest in tourism projects. Dubai can be seen as one country that is already benefiting from the increased price of oil in terms of their tourism efforts.
Recruitment in the industry will undoubtedly increase to meet the demands of evermore infrastructure. In the field of speciality holidays this is a certainty; it is now believed that special activity holidays are becoming increasingly popular meaning that those with specialist knowledge such as diving instructors and climbing experts will be in greater demand.
Overall if the travel industry can continue to coax people to embark on holidays with good deals and cheap prices, growth will be forthcoming. Meeting the challenges of a global tightening of belts is the biggest challenge but will undoubtedly be possible. With an Olympic year figures will obviously be boosted and if the British summer was anywhere near as poor as last years the industry should be able to report another year of growth in 2009.