Holiday plans and travel trends are increasingly
mirroring the social divisions between rich and poor.
According to ITB
Berlin – the travel industry’s largest trade show – the fallout from the
global economic and financial crisis will tend to favour the growth of
niche markets, in particular segments such as luxury travel, once again
in 2009. At the same time, bargain hunting and
last-minute travel will be dominant.
“Whether we like it or not – the idea of saving
money at all costs is back with us again,“ said Dr. Martin Buck,
Director of the Competence Center Travel & Logistics at Messe
According to the ITB World Travel Trends Report,
commissioned from consultants IPK International by ITB Berlin, as
far as travel trends are concerned, 2009 is a very difficult
year to forecast. The effects of the global economic and financial
crisis, coupled with uneasiness over prices for raw materials and
significant currency fluctuations, mean that no reliable forecasts
can currently be made.
The ITB World
Travel Trends Report is based on the assessments
of around 60 tourism experts from 30 countries, meeting at the
World Travel Monitor Forum in Pisa in November 2008, as well as on
core data supplied by the World Travel Monitor, recognised as the
largest ongoing survey on global travel trends in some 60 source
According to ITB Berlin, the findings of the
Pisa Forum indicate that short trips within Europe will become
increasingly popular next year. “Higher costs and a new kind of
insecurity affecting consumers will undoubtedly impact negatively
on long-haul travel in 2009,” said Dr. Martin Buck.
City-tour vacations will not be enough to
counter this trend. Dr. Buck noted that the boom in trips to major
European cities, which low-cost airlines had significantly
accelerated in recent years, would tail off. According to the
Trends Report, the growth experienced by low-cost airlines
has already come to an end in 2008.
Assessments by ITB Berlin
indicate that, against the backdrop of the economic and financial
crisis, business travel, in particular, together with travel to
meetings, conferences and incentive trips, will suffer.
“Worldwide, international companies have begun
to drastically cut their spending on business travel, meetings and
incentives.” Dr. Martin Buck added. "The travel industry is already experiencing the
effects of these measures.”
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