The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) today revealed the results of its 2009 Economic Impact Research at its annual ITB Berlin press conference in the presence of industry leaders from different sectors of travel and tourism, high-level government representatives, and its research partner Oxford Economics.
"This year, the task of assessing travel and tourism trends and drawing up forecasts has been more challenging than ever because of all the uncertainties," Jean-Claude Baumgarten, WTTC President & CEO, announced at the launch.
Given the significant deterioration in travel and tourism activity through the second half of 2008 and the bleak macroeconomic forecast for 2009, WTTC's latest research shows that travel and tourism Economy GDP will contract by 3.6 percent in 2009. And it is expected to remain weak in 2010 with only marginal growth, of less than 0.3 percent, currently predicted - on what will already be a weak 2009.
"Lower fuel costs will make a difference," said Baumgarten, "as will lower general inflation, which should reverse part of last year's squeeze on households' spending power. But given how widespread and deep the current recession is, it is inevitable that Travel & Tourism will continue to be affected."
Baumgarten stressed, "The industry is not expecting a bail-out. It needs a supportive framework from government to help it weather the current storm. And governments would also do well to recognise Travel & Tourism's potential to energise the economy once the current crisis eases."