ITB WORLD TRAVEL TRENDS REPORT 2016 / 2017 – A Summary
One of the worlds leading travel trade show is the ITB BERLIN. ITB Berlin is the foremost business platform for global touristic offers. In, 5 Continents, more than 180 Countries, 1,000 Qualified Top Buyers, > 10,000 Exhibitors, > 28,000 Convention Visitors, > 109,000 Trade Visitors, > 160,000 Visitors in total, and 160,000 Square meters. Each Year, a world travel trend report is prepared. This is the latest report for the period of 2016 / 17.
The report covers the main topics discussed at the forum, including worldwide trends in outbound and inbound travel, and several current topics, including risks and fears of terror attacks, the impact of sharing accommodation providers, and the importance of the young ‘millennial’ generation.
The Main points of the reports are the following:
- Tourism is still growing despite terror
One of the main indicators is that despite political unrest and terror attacks, the overall volume of worldwide outbound trips this year remains on a growth path. In terms of the purpose of the trip, holidays remain by far the largest segment of outbound trips (75% share). A key trend this year was that political unrest or terror attacks did not affect the overall volume of foreign trips but certainly the choice of destination. “Destinations that were perceived as very dangerous lost millions of visitors, while countries with a positive safety image benefitted very heavily from this switch. Among the winners so far this year was, for example, Spain with an increase of more than 10% in inbound trips as well as the UK, which both gained business for diverse reasons. On the other hand, inbound trips to France and Turkey decreased, mainly due to security concerns of travelers.
- Asia Travel Boom to continue in 2017
Asians traveled more than ever so far this year, with a surge in trips to destinations within the region and including many more beach holidays. China was once again the growth driver. After a double-digit rise in international trips this year. The social-demographic profile of Asian outbound travelers reflects this trend towards more short-haul holidays within Asia. They are mostly relatively young. About 38% of Asians taking international trips are aged between 15-34 while a further 49% are aged 35-54, and only 13% are aged over 55, according to World Travel Monitor. Most of this increase is attributed to China. Key factors supporting the dynamic growth of outbound travel over the last decade and more, besides increased income and the long-term accumulated tourism demand of Chinese people, have included the establishment of two 7-day paid holidays per year, introduction of private passports, access to foreign currencies, and simpler visa regulations. Furthermore, the media are promoting international destinations and technology is helping Chinese consumers to find information about countries.
- Terror in the touristic destinations as a risk, raising fears and different reactions.
Terror attacks in various tourist destinations have significantly impacted on bookings this year as consumers switched to alternative offerings. Terror attacks have different targets depending on the motives of the people behind them. These can range from large-scale public attacks in cities, such as the events in Paris and Brussels, to smaller attacks focused on specific target groups, which might include tourists. This has been the case, for example, in Tunisia, Egypt, and Turkey. International media then multiply the intended propaganda effect through intensive reporting, which frequently leaves the affected destination with a dramatic drop in consumer trust, a slump in bookings and a serious challenge to generate a recovery. This is mainly accompanied by the low risk of terror attacks, but high fear.
- How Do Airbnb Impact cities?
The so-called ‘sharing’ economy has boomed in recent years with the rise of firms such as Airbnb which has disrupted the accommodation sector and is now expanding into new business areas. Despite dramatic growth, Airbnb and other ‘sharing’ accommodation providers remain a relatively small part of the travel industry. Despite these apparently low market share numbers for ‘sharing’ accommodation providers, the dominant platform Airbnb has grown dramatically in recent years by offering an attractive alternative concept for overnight stays in cities and destinations around the world. Founded in 2008 in San Francisco, the company describes its mission as “to create the world where people can belong when they travel by being connected to local cultures and having unique travel experiences”. Airbnb says that it now has about 3 million accommodation listings in more than 34,000 cities and other location in more than 190 countries around the world. The privately owned US company does not publish detailed booking and revenue figures but according to diverse media reports is believed in early 2016 to have passed the $1 billion net annual revenue figure, which is earned from commissions charged to hosts and guests. But Airbnb has also faced widespread criticism that it is negatively impacting on city centers and neighborhoods by bringing in excessive numbers of visitors and effectively taking apartments out of the commercial rental sector by driving up prices. There have been well-publicised protests in cities in the USA and Europe, and diverse city administrations have imposed new rules on the commercial rental of private apartments to try to stop property owners from renting to Airbnb customers instead of local people or students.
- Are Millennials different – or just young?
Often defined as people born between 1980 and 2000 (and thus currently aged 16 -36), Technology-savvy Millennials are seen by many in the international tourism industry as a new key market to generate much of the industry’s targeted growth in the coming years. Nevertheless, the 1.8 billion Millennials worldwide do display some particular characteristics that influence their travel behavior. Millennials seek authenticity, is very adaptable yet also has come of age with a built-in expectation of having control of their activities. In travel terms, they want to experience new cultures, blend experiences across different types of trips, encounter and engage with local people and have authentic experiences.
ITB WORLD TRAVEL TRENDS REPORT DECEMBER 2016
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